STORY: This doctor is known as
Lebanon’s ‘mother of the poor’
for offering some consultations
for a very low symbolic fee
Location: Al-Mina, Lebanon
(Dr. Bouchra Dabaj, General practitioner and pediatrician)
"This has been my message since I opened the clinic in 1983. My consultation fee was initially very low so I was able to reach a lot of people, and now as my experience increases and as the economic situation deteriorates, I felt that I needed to stay with the people and keep my fee low, to help as much as I can. I take 200,000 Lebanese Liras ($13.23), some patients pay 100,000 Lebanese Liras ($6.62) and some others do not pay at all. I try to help them as much as I can and provide medication. They come back for follow-ups and I don't take anything."
Dabaj says she receives donated medicine
from her Orthodox church community
and pharmaceutical companies
"The problem now is the hospitals because they are very expensive and we can't... When a child comes to me with a certain condition, I keep following up with them every day without taking anything for the follow-ups so I can save them from being admitted to a hospital. But in some cases, they have to (be admitted to a hospital) and this is a big problem because hospitals cost a lot."
(Georgette Saliba, Patient)
"Doctor Bouchra is the mother of the poor. She doesn't say no to anyone. Whether they have money or not, she helps everyone. May God keep her in good health and give her strength... She gives us anything we ask of her, medicine or otherwise. She doesn't differentiate, everyone is equal."