Walk-in doctor still doing what he loves

Dr Paulo de Valdoleiros, who has a walk-in practice, where patients pay what they can afford. PHOTO: SAZLY HARTZENBERG

Since he opened the doors of his walk-in practice in Westdene, Bloemfontein, six weeks ago, Dr Paulo de Valdoleiros said the numbers have definitely increased so much that he is now on average treating 25 patients a day.

To a question whether it is sustainable, Dr de Valdoleiros told Bloemfontein Courant that it will always be a difficult question to answer, because he doesn’t know what each patient pays.

He knows the total amount at the end of the day when they cash up and he knows how many people he saw during the day. He said that salaries were due, the rent was due and the prices of medication keep on fluctuating.

They went through 5000 capsules of antibiotics, but he believes that they are making enough on average for these costs.
“The average is relatively low at the moment. It is probably 20% of what a normal GP would earn, but I know that God will make a way,” he said.

While visiting his practice, Dr De Valdoleiros read a piece to Courant which he wrote in his 2015 Journal, which says God was preparing him for something bigger. He believes this practice is it. “God is the boss here, I am working for Him, and if this was God’s idea, then He will make it work.”

He explained so many things have happened since all the interviews and articles. The latest is that an Uber driver from the Western Cape has started a campaign to raise a million rand for the practice on Back a Buddy. It is currently sitting at about R25 000 and people are still welcome to donate.

He added, with everything that is so costly, he still doesn’t see himself doing anything else and he believes that anything can still happen. He said since he started this practice, he hasn’t regretted it once and he is still as excited as he was in the beginning.

“I will not change the ‘business model’. People will stay paying what they can afford.” He concluded he will continue doing his job as if he is the richest man on the planet.

Sazly Hartzenberg