CSC Founder and CEO, Dr. Jim Gollogly, a British-American surgeon, first came to Cambodia in 1992 for a 6-month assignment with the American Red Cross. After 30 years of war and genocide by the Pol Pot regime, in which educated citizens were targeted for execution, the medical system had suffered tremendously. Upon arriving to Cambodia, Dr. Jim found that war and landmine injuries were rampant and disabilities were neglected. Having made a few contacts during his assignment, he returned to Cambodia in 1998 and CSC started as a small project to help victims of landmine injuries, many of whom were children. Since then, it has grown into what it is today.
CSC’s Mission Statement
CSC aims to improve the quality of life for disabled poor people by providing free rehabilitation surgery. Integral to this mission is a program of training local surgeons and health workers, focusing on the development of sustainable surgical services for Cambodians.
Around 500 million people, or 12% of the world’s population, suffer from some sort of disability. Disabilities can bring misery, reduce economic status, destroy social integration, and cause untold suffering through stigmatization and marginalization from society.
In the last 30 years, international agencies have made great efforts to assist with healthcare in developing countries focusing on the principles of ‘primary health care’; e.g. sanitation, clean water, and Maternal & Child Health (MCH). Surgery has been considerably underemphasized as ‘too sophisticated and expensive’ for widespread impact.
However, CSC’s experience shows that:
- Safe, simple surgery is easy to organise, can be cheap (US$35 per operation), and is highly effective.
- The results of successful surgery are beneficial to the patient, gratifying to the surgeon, and the technology is practical.
- The costs are sustainable for developing countries and are similar to the costs for medical treatment of chronic diseases.
- Locally trained surgeons can readily learn how to do appropriate procedures.
CSC demonstrates the enormous benefits of simple, safe, rehabilitation surgery in developing countries by providing surgery and training programs on a daily basis.
No patients are charged for operations or treatment at CSC, although they may have to pay for drugs or tests at outside facilities if they are seen only in consultation and if they are not inpatients.
Over 120 Khmer staff work at CSC: doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, and support people (performing cleaning, maintenance, administration, and security tasks). Salaries are the biggest monthly expense, followed by surgical supplies and then operating and utilities costs. Every year, a rough “cost per operation” is assessed by dividing the total amount of money spent by the total number of operations performed. In 2009, with $700,000 spent on about 5,000 operations, the cost per operation at CSC was approximately $140. This cost per operation has been steadily rising as more complex operations become available and more expensive materials or investigations are required. In 2011, for example, this number nearly doubled to $272 due to a building expansion (which more than tripled our space) and expensive vitreoretinal surgical equipment. However, no one doubts these operations are done at a bargain price: free to the patient and cheap for CSC.
The greatest need is for ongoing contributions to everyday running costs. CSC is always looking for sponsors who will donate funds to maintain the program in its present form, and even to expand into new procedures such as spinal surgery, to cure or ameliorate such conditions as paralysis due to tuberculosis of the spine. Prospective donors who wish to make a specific donation targeted at a group of patients or a particular program can always e-mail us to discuss such support.