What it's like to be a successful family doctor-entrepreneur in a small city

What it's like to be a successful family doctor-entrepreneur in a small city

Newly renovated premises. Air conditioning is on. Clean new furniture. Timon and Pumbaa, Angry Birds and Tiger smile from the wall. A 29-year-old family doctor Roman Dyachenko is at his table. He took a plunge to start working as physician-private entrepreneur, signed declarations with patients and now receives state funding. This made it possible for him not to seek better life abroad. Roman works in the city of Khrystynivka in the Cherkasy Oblast.

Roman became one of the first doctors-private entrepreneurs in Ukraine to sign a contract with the National Health Service and treat his patients at the state expense


Roman Dyachenko talks about his three-year-old son Timofiy. The doctor would like to spend more time with family, but his work (which he likes) consumes all the time.

Roman got a loan of up to UAH 100.000 to equip and repair the premises


“I decided that the healthcare reform will not finish tomorrow anyway”


“I have long been thinking to work normally and earn more than three thousand hryvnias. I was thinking of going abroad somewhere where you can earn more as a doctor,” Roman explains.

I did not go because of family circumstances, I had my wife and young son. So I decided to take a plunge and start a private practice. I got up to UAH 100.000 of a loan to equip and repair the premises.

When Roman took the risk, the healthcare reform was still in the plans. Then, in March 2018, the changes were to be introduced in July. He thought: “Why not give it a try?” And signed a contract with the NHS.

Roman receives patients until 9pm


Patients were actively visiting the doctor. At that time, there were no repairs at the primary healthcare centre, and Roman already had a “fresh” office. He placed an advertisement in a local newspaper and created a Facebook page.

He also receives patients in the evening, this time is convenient for people. Roman works until 9pm.

“I try to stay at home on Sunday, but very often have to come to work”


“He is a good doctor, we are satisfied with everything. At any time of the day, if something is wrong, we ring him and he tells us everything, directs us well. I have been his patient for a year and have no complaints,” smiles the local resident Tetiana, who came to Roman for medical certificate.

Another elderly patient Kateryna adds:

“He is a very good and careful doctor. I used to be his patient at the outpatient clinic, and now come here, I live close, in the next street.

An appointment, summer 2019


“It is impossible for a family doctor to tackle everything. But ideally, we have up to 90% of the issues to solve”


Roman is convinced that patients need to be taught how to act in a particular situation. For example, what to do when a child has a running nose. And if the basic advice does not help – apply to a doctor.

Roman would like his patients to come for a preventive checkup at least once a year.


Bus stop near the family doctor's office in Khrystynivka, Cherkasy Oblast. Summer 2019


The doctor believes that each patient should be explained the criteria by which they should consult a doctor, since treatment becomes cheaper for the patient and easier for the doctor.  


Twice a week Roman Dyachenko visits patients at home on call.

“I have everything portable: there is a first aid kit, a stethoscope, an electrocardiograph, tonometers…”

At the same time, he is engaged in self-education:

“I try to learn, to read something constantly.”

As of 14 August, Roman had about 1,500 patients as a private entrepreneur and another 300 in a communal healthcare facility where he works at his wife's position, also a family doctor, while she is on maternity leave.

As a private physician for the first 7 months of 2019 Roman received almost half a million hryvnias for his patients.

This is not net income

This is not net income. From these funds, the doctor still pays for his patients' tests under a guaranteed package, purchases supplies, pays taxes etc.

“I see prospects. In my region there is a decent salary”


The doctor has been looking for a new colleague to assist him in his office for already a month or so. But... nobody responds.

“I see prospects. In my region there is a decent salary”.

Roman plans to stay only as private entrepreneur and find more time for his family

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