The International Association for Ambulatory Surgery (IAAS) was founded in 1995 and is a registered charity in Belgium. Its main aim is to promote the worldwide development of high quality ambulatory surgery (aka: day surgery). In pursuit of this, the IAAS has had a number of achievements. Even before its formal inception, the founding member countries started the publication of the first international peer reviewed journal on ambulatory surgery. Entitled Ambulatory Surgery, the journal was first published in paper form in 1993 and is now freely available in electronic format at www.ambulatorysurgery.org.
The foundation of the IAAS coincided with its first international congress in Brussels. Since then biennial congresses have been held at different venues around the world. The IAAS has also been involved in promoting the practice of ambulatory surgery at many national conferences in Europe, North and South America, Australasia, Asia and Africa. Politically, the IAAS has lobbied organizations such as the European Union, the World Health Organisation, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, national governments, etc. on the benefits and management of ambulatory surgery. An example of this work is the booklet Policy Brief – Day Surgery: Making it Happen published in 2007 by the World Health Organization on behalf of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies in collaboration with the IAAS. As a consequence of these activities the number of national ambulatory surgery associations has increased as has the amount of ambulatory surgery performed in most countries. This is clearly shown in the regular two yearly international benchmarking exercises the Association undertakes.
- To promote the development of high quality ambulatory surgery.
- To stimulate the formation of national associations for ambulatory surgery.
- To promote education and training in ambulatory surgery for surgeons, anaesthetists and nurses.
- To encourage multi-disciplinary working in ambulatory surgery.
- To stimulate research in ambulatory surgery.
- To form a database of ambulatory surgery and anaesthesia.
- To promote the international exchange of knowledge and experience in ambulatory surgery.
- To organise seminars and conferences on ambulatory surgery.
- To develop internationally agreed guidelines for the practice of ambulatory surgery.
- To publish the peer reviewed international journal, Ambulatory Surgery.
- To collaborate with International healthcare bodies.