How much does a child’s heart surgery cost?

In developing countries the cost of an ICHF heart surgery vary based upon:
    • Size of the medical team
    • Lodging for the medical team members
    • Transportation for medical team members
    • Medical supplies and equipment that has been donated for a trip
However, the typical mission trip costs around $40,000, assuming medical supplies are donated. During a two-week trip the medical team typically operates on 20 children, which calculates to an average cost of $2,000 per child. If you compare this to the average cost of one surgery in the US ($30,000), ICHF surgeries are 85 percent less expensive.

How many medical mission trips does ICHF take in a year?

The ICHF fiscal year runs from July through June. For the 2006-2007 year, ICHF completed 18 trips. In 2007-2008, 20 trips were completed. We increased to 26 trips in the 2008-2009 fiscal year. In the present fiscal year, we have projected to complete 32 surgical mission trips. As ICHF expands its capacity to manage more trips, the number of trips will increase.

Are medical volunteers compensated?

ICHF volunteers are not paid for their work with ICHF. Our volunteers consist of doctors, nurses and any other practitioners who make up a medical team. These team members often generously use their personal vacation time to assist us with medical missions, although in some cases, employers grant time off for humanitarian efforts. However, ICHF does pay for our medical volunteers' travel and living expenses, such as airfare, food and lodging. Eighty percent of ICHF volunteers make more than one trip. Many volunteers continually make trips over a number of years, as they believe that the satisfaction of saving children, receiving the smiles and gratitude of the patients and their families, and training local medical teams to continue cardiac care programs in their regions is compensation enough.

How often do you receive requests for pediatric surgeries?

Every day. On the average, we receive two to five requests for services each day from developing countries throughout the world.

How many medical volunteers does ICHF have?

ICHF has more than 1,200 medical professionals who are registered and certified to travel and teach with our medical staff. We are always seeking to increase this number. The more volunteers we have, the more lives we are able to save.

What is ICHF’s greatest need?

Simply stated, ICHF needs large renewal grants to fund the surgeries and train the local medical staff in developing countries. Additionally, despite the fact that we work diligently to gather donations and use volunteers for medical trips, there are administrative expenses incurred as with any business or nonprofit organization. These expenses include staff salaries, office operations maintenance and mission-related expenses, such as shipping essential materials and occasionally buying medical supplies and medication. The only limitation in the number of children's lives we can save is the ability to fund more trips to perform surgeries and train local medical teams.

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