Saturday, May 19, 2007

"Free" Clinic

  • Yesterday and today the Arkansas Mission of Mercy provided (is providing) "free" basic dental care to anyone. No one is checking economic need. It is first come, first served. I want to applaud my dental colleagues. I wish there was a way to convey to those who are served that this is only "free" to them. Several companies underwrote this venture (in this case--Arkansas State Dental Association, Delta Dental of Arkansas, the city of Little Rock, Baptist Hospital, Cysco Food Services, Patterson Dental Supply, Sullivan Schein Dental Supply, Clear Mountain Water, the Arkansas National Guard, Arkansas Southern Baptist Convention, Arkansas Children's Hospital, Kroger, Subway, McDonald's, and the Arkansas Pharmacists Association). The dentists, assistants, and others are giving of their time and talent. The dentists were also encouraged to provide extras: "In addition to your participation, ArMOM needs donations of ‘gently used’ (remember—you might have to use them) operative and surgical hand instruments, extraction elevators and forceps, curing lights, ultrasonic cleaners, cavitrons, and amalgamators. We will also need syringes, gloves, masks, gauze sponges, burs, and operative restorative materials."
  • As I sometimes try to explain to my sisters &/or nurse friends, I will make them that new dress (or do their augmentation) with the labor given as a gift, but they have to pay for the supplies. In the case of the dress, this includes the pattern, the fabric, the buttons, zipper, etc. [In case of the augmentation, this will include the breast implants, postop bras, surgery center fees, and anesthesia fees.]
  • Like every other business, we can not be there to provide our services if our overhead and expenses (you know what they include--business license, malpractice insurance, office rent, utilities, staff salaries, etc) can not be meet. I am simply a small business owner who wants to take home a fair wage. I wish I could (Utopian universe) provide my skills and services with no thought of those pesky expenses, but alas I have not discovered how to do so.

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