'I think he is an angel'- Doctor who charges what patients can afford inspires stranger to raise funds

2019-07-04 12:03
Dr Paulo de Valdoleiros treats patient. (Supplied)

Dr Paulo de Valdoleiros treats patient. (Supplied)

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A Bloemfontein doctor's many acts of kindness inspired a complete stranger to create a crowdfunding campaign for him.

Dr Paulo de Valdoleiros, 56, who has been nicknamed "The Walk-in Doctor", opened his practise in June and has always dreamed of helping people, irrelevant of whether they can afford healthcare or not.

Valdoleiros charges his patients what they can afford. Whether it is R10 or R500, he gladly accepts whatever payment they can make.

Now, an Uber driver in Cape Town hopes to replicate the doctor's philosophy of helping people at any cost, and has set up a crowdfunding campaign for Valdoleiros, so that he can continue his work.

After reading an article about what Valdoleiros has been doing, Samy Bala, a 30-year-old Congolese Uber driver was instantly motivated to try and continue the spirit of ubuntu.

'I think he is an angel'

"After reading this article, it really touched my heart, I almost broke down in tears. This is out of the ordinary. You don't get doctors that do this kind of things," Bala told News24.

"It takes time, effort, dedication and a lot of money, but to see a doctor who is sacrificing all of this just to change people's lives [by] asking them to pay what they can afford, I think he is an angel.

"Since he is the one changing people's lives, people paying R10, R500. Who pays R500 after seeing a doctor? Seriously, he cannot survive with this, but with our help and funding, we can make his dream come true."

Responding to the funding campaign, Valdoleiros was at a loss for words.

Struggling to explain how appreciative he was of the gesture, Valdoleiros selflessly asked how he could ever do justice to what Bala is attempting to do for him.

"I'm astonished, I didn't set out for this. This guy comes along, I think he has taken what I started doing to a higher level, his actions are greater than mine," Valdoleiros told News24.

"Another member of society has joined hands with me. He is holding my hand, saying: 'Come, I'm going to help you do this.'

"I can't describe the feeling. This defies logic."

The campaign to raise funds for Valdoleiros went live on Wednesday on fundraising platform BackaBuddy.

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