A story of an Afghan doctor who earns from rich to treat poor for free
According to the World Health Organization, health care in Afghanistan has improved, but access to healthcare is still very limited and many cannot afford private treatment. That’s why, doctors there try their best to fill the huge gap in the public health sector by taking the cause as their own civic duty. Plastic surgeon Abdul Ghafar Ghayur is one of those doctors who treat poor patients for a minimal fee or most of the time for free.
He makes money by doing hundreds of nose jobs and Botox injections he performs on wealthy Afghans. The money he makes from rich people allows him to perform life-changing surgery on low-income patients. Abdul Ghafar’s clients include parliamentarians, business directors and other rich people, who can easily afford to pay thousands of dollars for cosmetic surgery.
The income from such treatments allows Abdul Ghafar Ghayur to make a good living as well as treat low-income patients who turn up unannounced seeking reconstructive surgery to treat disease, congenital disorders and post-traumatic wounds.
Many of these patients arrive with late stage illnesses and require urgent attention. If a patient comes and says ‘I can only pay $100’, I do it for $100, or $20, or $30. Because if we decide to wait until the patient has the money, the patient will have no chance of survival. I have treated lots of skin cancer patients for free, because some of them had small tumors that were 100 percent curable, said Abdul Ghafar Ghayur.
Infant and maternal mortality rates in Afghanistan still rank among the worst in the world. Public hospitals are under-funded and patients are expected to cover basic medical supplies like bandages, medicine and even wages. In this scenario, the efforts of Abdul Ghafar Ghayur to bridge the huge gap in the health sector of Afghanistan is really praiseworthy.