The Branch for International Surgical Care (BISC), housed within the Department of Surgery, was created in 2003. The Branch is responsible for the Graduate Certificate and Master in Global Surgical Care – programs intended to prepare surgical care professionals from many disciplines to address surgical challenges and to contribute to finding solutions in low-resource settings globally.
Originally created with the intent to focus on international surgical care, the courses quickly shifted to include a focus on low-resource settings in high-income countries. A more recent focus of the Branch has also been on planetary healthcare, knowing that health care is responsible for 5% of global CO2 emissions, on par with the aviation industry.
Many working in this field use the term “global” rather than international to emphasize the fact that we are all members of a global village. Despite geographical and cultural differences, we have the same aspirations and challenges regardless of sovereign boundaries. The term “Global Surgery” is in line with the accepted concept of Global Health referring to care provided in low-resource, remote or marginalized communities which may also be within high-income countries (HICs).
Following discussions at our Fall Advisory Committee, we are excited to announce the official renaming of the unit from the Branch for International Surgical Care to Branch for Global Surgical Care, effective immediately.
The term “global” is all encompassing, reflecting of both “worldwide” and “planetary” aspects and captures our aim of incorporating planetary health, and surgical care in rural, remote and Indigenous communities in Canada and other High Income Countries as outlined in our new Strategic Plan 2022 – 2027.
Changing the unit name to Branch for Global Surgical Care will align UBC with other academic institutions and better reflect its role in advocating for high quality, safe, affordable and appropriate surgical care globally while minimizing its environmental impact.