Deficiencies in the delivery of musculoskeletal trauma care in low- and middle-income countries can be attributed to a variety of causes, all of which can be linked to failure of the health system to deliver the necessary services to prevent death and disability. As such, a “systems” approach will be required to improve the delivery of services. The goal of this review is to familiarize the orthopaedic surgeon with selected topics in public health, including health systems, burden of disease, disability adjusted life year (DALY), cost-effective analysis, and related concepts (eg, met versus unmet need, access, utilization, effective coverage).

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