Spinal disorders come in many different forms. And the misery, economic and social burden of spinal disorders to society is well documented. Yet, despite an annual global cost of hundreds of billions of dollars, SPINE is still not recognized as a standalone medical discipline. How can this be possible?

Perhaps understandably, “Best-in-Class” spine care will mean different things to different people depending on where they are domiciled and their socio-economic status.

So what would be an acceptable level of spine care?

Is it possible that everyone can have access to “Best-in-Class” spine care that fits their socio-economic status?

What prevents national and international bodies from successfully addressing this global syndemic?

While, there are no accurate global figures that capture the true cost of treatments, rehabilitation, work productivity loss, and family burden caused by spinal disorders; most commenters agree the cost is measured in hundreds of billions of USD$ annually.

Unfortunately, a proportion of this annual expense will be Non-Value Added Waste. How much is wasted on an annual basis is difficult to estimate? But again, it will certainly run into billions or even tens of billions of USD$ for each country. And as expected, it will be the Developing Nations with fragile or under-developed healthcare systems where such care costs and waste will disproportionately impact the most.

As an EdCom, we suggest all stakeholder groups must share the responsibility for the failure to mobilize resources and distribute the right knowledge so as to truly address this global syndemic.

The EdCom sees standardized, quality controlled and universally accessible education as the key driver to change behaviors and mobilize resources in the right manner to improve patient outcomes and lives.

As an EdCom, if we are to support and align spine societies across the globe to be part of the solution for spine care, we will need to provide answers that address the many different educational challenges.

And lest we forget there are a number of additional healthcare challenges and other distractions for healthcare agencies and governments to prioritize.

The EdCom and SPINE20 will need to deliver SMART Recommendations and align relevant academic societies behind these Recommendations to stand any chance to make governments and healthcare agencies to sit up, listen and ACT.