Are Fly-Ins the Right Thing?

In 2016, roughly $3.7 billion was spent sending medical missions to sites across the globe. But the fly-in model is being dropped in favor of more sustainable options.

"There are a lot of concerns about what happens when these missions leave” and that “the care they're providing may not be culturally appropriate,” says Lawrence Loh of the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

One group, Interplast, now ReSurge International, had deployed scores of surgeons when Nepali surgeon Shankar Man Rai suggested training locals. Initially met with trepidation, the new model changed the face of the organization—and more surgeries are getting done, writes Joanne Silberner.  

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