There is a long tradition in medicine and dentistry to support medical missions in developing countries where health care is limited. These journeys facilitate the spread of knowledge and can be voyages of self-discovery. In the past it has been customary to bring patients to developed countries for treatment. This policy has proved expensive as the medical costs incurred to treat a single patient in the UK can match the cost of sending a ten unit surgical team abroad for two weeks. 50 patients may be treated in this period of time so the pattern of practice is now for teams of healthcare workers to move to areas of need rather than the other way round.