Frequently Asked Questions
1. HOW WILL DBM PATIENTS BE SELECTED?
Dokta Matt meets with families interested in participating in DBM services. As families are identified that are comfortable with the model and mission of DBM, those families are invited to enroll.
The total number of patients will be extremely limited (representing a fraction of the typical 500 concierge patients). This will guarantee a high level of care while carefully protecting time for teaching, mentoring and infrastructure building in Vanuatu.
2. WHAT ABOUT NI-VANUATU CHILDREN?
Dokta Matt yearns for the welfare of all children in Vanuatu. He physically can't be responsible for medical care for all. DBM is structured to provide private care for a few so that Dokta Matt can help strengthen Vanuatu's medical system. Ultimately, all children will get better care as local doctors advance their paediatric skills. And, happily, some Ni-vanuatu families have been able to take advantage of our plans as employers and insurance companies have supported our approach.
3. WHAT IS THE COST?
"Partners" pay once for each cycle and receive full access all the time at no additional cost.
"Members" and "Friends" pay a smaller subscription to guarantee access and then pay a per-visit fee as well.
Contract prices vary. See the Plans, Details and Contracts pages for specific information.
Fees are competitive with other specialists, even before the added access of 24 hour care and home visits.
4. HOW CAN FEES BE PAID?
Methods currently accepted include cash, PayPal, direct deposit and bitcoin.
5. Do insurance plans cover DBM FEes?
We have had no problem with insurances reimbursing our fees. They recognize the specialty training as well as the benefit of avoiding medical care abroad.
We have had no insurances cover the costs of subscriptions. There are, however, employers that have looked at doing so for their employees.
6. WHY NOT HAVE AN OFFICE?
Maintaining an office requires additional investment in time and money. The total number of patients would need to increase to support an office. Consequently, this would detract from our mission to strengthen Vanuatu's medical infrastructure.
7. IS EPISODIC CARE AN OPTION?
Visit-based care is inconsistent with this model. The expectation is that each patient will require an initial time commitment and that once a preventive schedule is in place that more time can be devoted to teaching. Thankfully, there are a few very good general practitioners in Vila that offer episodic care.
8. HOW WILL SCHEDULING WORK?
We will coordinate based on urgency of need. Preventive visits will be scheduled ahead of time. Problem-based visits will be scheduled per need. If your child has an urgent or emergent need, she will receive that care immediately.
9. WHAT IF MY CHILD NEEDS TO BE IN HOSPITAL?
Good news! Because of our unique relationship with Vila Central Hospital, we expect your child will be able to receive care there. This care will be directly supervised by Dokta Matt while the hospital will consider her a public patient, allowing her the benefits of both. This assures the very best care while at VCH as well as increase teaching opportunities for the staff and interns. This is the process recommended by the former Ministry of Health, but currently the details have not yet been cemented.
10. DO YOU PROVIDE CARE FOR PARENTS?
As a paediatrician, Dokta Matt is trained in all problems related to children. His specific training covers problems into adulthood and it is common practice for paediatricians with his training to care for patients with complex genetic conditions well into their thirties or forties.
DBM offers some medical care for parents. Such care is restricted to Dokta Matt's level of comfort and training. For example, as clarified in the patient agreements, Dokta Matt will not be caring for patients with heart attacks or strokes as these are problems not typically experienced by children.
11. HOW LONG WILL DOKTA MATT BE IN VANUATU?
We have come with the expectation of being in Vanuatu long-term, though ultimately we expect to follow the impressions and guidance we receive. We are starting with five years, having arrived July 2019.
12. HOW WILL 'HOME LEAVE' WORK?
We expect that the ideal time for holiday is during school breaks when DBM patients are most likely to be away. Thus, we expect to take 4 weeks during one of these breaks which will include vacation as well as continuing education, training and re-licensing. We also expect to take brief breaks every few months, likely over weekends or holidays.
We commit to doing all possible to provide remote access and coordination with local providers while we are away. Peers in the US have expressed desires to come to Vanuatu while we are away in order to provide continuous care in person. We welcome input from our DBM families as to how to best adjust our approach such that we can best provide the highest level of sustainable care. We expect most subscriptions will be paused during this time.
13. WHAT IF ARRANGEMENTS DON'T WORK OUT?
With the concierge model, much of the time commitment comes at the beginning. Consequently, cancelling contracts midway is difficult. Were the need to arise, we hope to find amiable ways to part. Terminating a partial contract would be a last resort.
Similarly, were DBM needing to terminate your contract midway, this would also be a last resort. We would anticipate needing to do so only if severe circumstances arose (such as safety concerns or family emergencies). In such circumstances, refunds of subscription fees would be made on a prorated basis.
DBM retains the right to dismiss patients at any time if, after written warning, patient or family behavior does not meet appropriate standards of safety or respect. This includes an unwillingness to recognize the needs of others, especially those with higher acuity crises or VCH interns. This, too, would be an approach reserved only for extreme circumstances.