The traditional model for International Surgical Non-profit work is for well-meaning surgeons to give up their time, along with their teams, in order to travel to areas of need and operate on their patients.
I have certainly been involved with numerous ‘surgical missions’ in the past, which did just that.
Although this does provide help to individual patients, it does not address the dependence on foreign teams to continue to travel to the same areas in order for patients to be treated for generations to come.
I was attracted to and became involved with the Committee of the British Foundation for International Reconstructive Surgery and Training (BFIRST), as I was impressed with the ethos to help less fortunate areas of the world by providing surgical training programs in lower income countries. These are tailored to their local need and empowers local surgeons and health providers to ensure continuity of their services, as well as the improvement of their patient care in general.