Tim Kubacki was the director of a U.S. hospital emergency department when he realized he was leaving his dream behind. He left everything and moved his family to Angola Africa. Today he serves more than one hundred thousand people in some of the poorest and most remote regions of Angola.
“American medicine was satisfying but I was overworked – mainly from the need to practice defensively. The time and energy devoted to this stole much joy out of serving the ill and wounded. The law is not a healthy long-term motivator. It stimulates results from fear, but destroys the best motivation: care and concern for our patients.
In Angola I enjoy focusing on serving people and practicing good medicine rather than worrying about legal ramifications.”
The people we serve are very poor, but we do charge a very small fee. Payment acknowledges the value of the service; we have learned that when the service is completely free, the people disregard it. We are also able to help sustain the day to day work, making sure we can continue to bring health and healing to the very poor. We are able to help debilitated patients with cataracts or chronic malaria with no means of income. And the charge weans out the extremely minor complaints and forces focus on more significant health concerns.
Above all, I am committed to loving the people of Angola, and I actively resist allowing them to become objects, like numbers to illnesses or goals to achieve. As a healthcare professional, I believe I should above all honor people. Living in a manner that treats each as a free, thinking, feeling person is challenging, indeed. But my Master is my model, and compassion in action must remain my mantra. In these convictions I find enormous satisfaction.”
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