Cost analysis of establishing a relationship between a surgical program in the US and Vietnam

Document Type


Publication Date



"Twinning" refers to a constructive partnership between hospitals in developed and developing nations. Such an effort may contribute immensely to capacity building for the developing nation, but one of the reasons given for the lack of sustainability is cost. We share a detailed operating cost analysis of our recent experience with an institution in Vietnam. We were awarded a 1-year $54,000 grant from the Vietnam Education Foundation (VEF) to conduct a live tele-video conferencing course on the "Fundamentals of Clinical Surgery" with Thai Binh Medical University (TBMU). In-country lectures as well as an assessment of the needs at TBMU were performed. Total financial assistance and expenditures were tabulated to assess up-front infrastructure investment and annual cost required to sustain the program. The total amount of direct money ($66,686) and in-kind services ($70,276) was $136,962. The initial infrastructure cost was $41,085, which represented 62% of the direct money received. The annual cost to sustain the program was approximately $11,948. We concluded that the annual cost to maintain a "twinning" program was relatively low, and the efforts to sustain a "twinning" program were financially feasible and worthwhile endeavors. "Twinning" should be a critical part of the surgical humanitarian volunteerism effort.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

International surgery

First Page


Last Page


This document is currently not available here.