Financing day surgery activity is critical for the development of day surgery programmes all over the world.
A questionnaire on economical issues was sent to several countries of the world, especially to those countries that are members of the International Association for Ambulatory Surgery (IAAS). The questionnaire asked for general information about financing national health services (NHS), costs of current needs, costs of labour and health staff, and the reimbursement system for a list of common surgical procedures undertaken on a day surgery basis, whatever the surgical regimen used. Eighteen out of 29 countries (62.1%) answered the questionnaire.
There was a great heterogeneity in the wealth and the economic potential of the countries involved. However, usually the countries do maintain their relative position for different purposes: those that are wealthier have increased costs, but do reimburse better the surgical activity than those countries that are poorer. More importantly, those countries that have a strong financial incentive (e.g., Denmark, United Kingdom, etc) achieve a high percentage of day surgery activity compared to other countries where there is no financial incentive at all towards this surgical regimen, as in Germany. There are significant potential savings among other advantages when NHS maximize day surgery practice through financial incentives.
Keywords: Ambulatory surgery; Financing health system; Costs; Surgical procedures reimbursement