Class of 2020
Three years ago, Incoming Student Samuel Dogbatse’s parents were violently robbed outside of their home in Ghana. His father nearly died.
Only two years prior to the robbery, Dogbatse was an investment banker in London who wanted to move back home to have a social impact. He returned to Ghana confident about working towards social change, but not sure how.
Then, the assault happened. It was a turning point.
Dogbatse’s father was taken to three private hospitals in the metropolitan area of Accra, but was refused treatment because the injuries were a result of criminal activity. They would not treat without a police report. Finally, a regional hospital, 20 miles away, agreed to help him. Bleeding profusely, he waited his turn while health care practitioners attempted to clear a long trail of emergency cases.
“I almost lost my father because he could not access health care efficiently,” Dogbatse explains, citing ineffective policies and implementation systems. “My purpose became clear: to fundamentally change how health care is delivered to transform lives.”
Dogbatse says the issues with Ghanaian health care revolve around weak policy, the lack of immediate access to doctors, and inconsistencies in the application of standardized, quality systems across the sector. He adds that those who need health care can't access it because the price points are too high, and the existing form of social insurance is “rigged with inefficiencies” and therefore, ineffective, resulting in poor health outcomes for patients.
To help solve these problems, Dogbatse launched his own health care technology company called Kenko Doctor, which he describes as a “combination between Airbnb and Uber” for the health sector. Kenko Doctor provides immediate access to doctors—with information and ratings—online. Patients can also make in-person appointments for a later date.
Though Kenko Doctor is growing, Dogbatse knew he needed a deeper understanding of global health care policy and economics in order to have a greater impact at scale. In addition to expanding the company, he hopes to serve as a consultant to African governments on health care. To do this, he required a graduate degree to be fully prepared and the Double Executive Masters in Health Policy at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and the London School of Economics and Political Science provided the academic richness, breadth, and depth he was looking for.
Beyond the coursework—delivered in four full-time, two-to-three week teaching blocks, rotating from the London School of Economics campus to that of the University of Chicago—Dogbatse cites the faculty and the caliber of UChicago and the LSE as equally attractive. “UChicago is very well known for policy and the LSE for economics. So, to bring those two together creates an impressive synergy that will shape my learning and help me influence health care globally,” he says.
Dogbatse is eager to probe the U.S. and U.K. health care markets in order to influence the developing markets in Africa. He says, “I want to deploy world-class, sustainable standards throughout the continent. My plan is to bring the best practices of the U.S. and the U.K. to our emerging markets and dramatically improve care. I can’t wait to get started.”