Mercy Ships

Dear colleagues,


Recently there was an article in Medscape about volunteering on Mercy Ships which go to Africa to perform surgery on the desperately deprived. There is no doubt that this would be a fantastic experience but as the comments section of the article revealed, there are certain drawbacks and limitations of this type of volunteering such as;


  1. The dollar cost and substantial opportunity cost of going.
  2. The fact that, for example, a paediatric endocrinologist or a rheumatologist is not exactly what’s needed nor a specialist cardiologist or a dermatologist.
  3. The time away from one’s family and one’s own patients back home. (Usually many months.)


I think this is where the Twice the Doctor concept comes in. Just one day’s work a year (or part thereof) and you can effectively empower/ train/employ the precisely required African health worker for the most pressing medical needs. These doctors and nurses speak the local language and use their wages to help enrich the local community. They are also there for effective follow up. The training is often specific in order to avoid “brain drain” through emigration.


It would certainly be an unforgettable experience to work on a Mercy Ship but in reality we can all do a whole lot of good for African patients without ever leaving shore.


Remember, Twice the Doctor is about using your heart AND your head to leverage your medical skills for maximum effect to help developing world patients.


Regards to all


Rob Baume

(on behalf of the directors of TTD)

  1. Doctors Day in May is this Friday.
  2. Your contribution is fully tax deductible.
  3. The directors of TTD cover all the administration fees of the foundation so your donation goes even further.


Annual Doctors Day in May 2018

Dear colleagues,

May is well and truly upon us and it’s time consider your donation to Twice the Doctor foundation for this year. You have been generous in the past and hopefully will be again. You should not lose sight of the fact that in terms of quality adjusted life years of health (QALYs) your donation of about $500 can double your yearly impact as a doctor! Hard to believe isn’t it? But less difficult to understand when considering:


  1. Donations go to specific, highly efficient targeted programmes in African countries where health budgets can be as little as $30 per person per annum.
  2. Trained nurses delivering high end medical care (including lid surgery for trachoma) are often paid about $2500 per annum.
  3. In Australia we routinely pay $50,000+ for medical services/ procedures and especially certain medications to deliver a single QALY.
  4. All administration fees for TTD are covered by the directors so your donation goes even further.


Just this week I had the pleasure to meet Dr Ciku Mathenge from Kigali, Rwanda where she is 1 of 12 ophthalmologists……. for 12 million people. (See photo attached). In Australia we have About 40 ophthalmologists per million people.


Dr Mathenge helps coordinate and advise ophthalmic programmes for East Africa supplied by one of our partners, The Fred Hollows foundation, in order to deliver the most essential and most efficient interventions for the resources available. She is also starting a programme to train more ophthalmologists via resources in her private clinic – something that has not been done before in Rwanda.


Please remember there is a whole other world of medical need out there and how very privileged we are to live and work in Australia.


Donate at


Regards to all


Rob Baume

( on behalf of the directors of TTD foundation )