Dr Paulo de Valdoleiros, of the Walk-In Doctor has caused a media frenzy after he opened his medical practice in Westdene in Bloemfontein, last Monday. Walk- in Doctor is a practice with an unusual twist, here patient’s only pay what they can afford.
At the practice, the patient walks in, get examined by Dr Paulo de Valdoleiros, and he gives them basic medication. The patients then head over to the secretary, where the patients pay what they can afford. He explained that the idea with the practice was not to make history but rather to make people think differently. “There are so many people who really need help but cannot afford it,” said de Valdoleiros.
de Valdoleiros explained to Bloemfontein Courant that no bookings are necessary, as they work on a first come first serve basis but patients are well come to call first if they would like. He says that his sole interest is in primary healthcare and providing for day-to-day health and medical needs; and teaching people to take better care of their bodies in order to live healthier, longer lives.
He says that, from the tender age of 9, he knew he wanted to be a doctor as he wanted to help people. “I believe that medicine is my calling, it’s something that you’re born for and I have always wanted to do this. We all chase money but I’m tired of chasing money, I don’t want to be the boss and be in charge, I just want to do what I like to do and that is help people.”
de Valdoleiros says that he has been asked many a times, how much should I pay or what did the last guy pay, but the point is not to go on anyone else’s budget but your own. One of the comments on Facebook post explained it well by saying that: “The last time I went to a GP, I paid R450, so if I go to this Doctor and I have and can pay that money it is my moral duty to pay that money.”
On the question of “what if people abused this opportunity”, he simply answered that there is nothing to abuse as there is no system, as there is no minimum.
He says that he is not contracted to any medical aids as this would defeat the purpose of the practice. – Sazly Hartzenberg