Wednesday, October 21, 2009

“Free” Medical Clinics

I’ve been catching up on news that happened while I was in Las Vegas at BlogWorld Expo. The news (via Arkansas Blog) on the “free medical clinics” caught my eye. First, because “free medical clinics” aren’t free. There are many costs associated with them, including the building, utilities (electricity, water, heat, etc), medical supplies, paper supplies, etc. It’s only “free” to the person who receives it. I wish the “free” clinics would be called “charity” medical clinics, but I don’t think that will ever happen. It’s too honest. Not that the persons on the receiving end don’t need or deserve it, but who wants to think about the actual cost involved.

That said, I think it is a wonderful thing for my community to do. I will have to look into it and see how I can “donate” my time. Maybe I can do wound care for them.

Halter announces free clinic details

We brought you this news yesterday, but Lt. Gov. Bill Halter has issued a news release today with more details on the Nov. 21 free medical clinic to be held at Little Rock's Statehouse Convention Center……

HALTER NEWS RELEASE

LITTLE ROCK (October 16, 2009) -- The Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock will be the site of a free medical clinic for people seeking care from a health professional on Saturday, November 21, Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter said today. The National Association of Free Clinics (NAFC), a national nonprofit organization, will operate the clinic.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Arkansans who need health care to get the medical attention they sorely need, at least for a day. We are profoundly grateful to the National Association of Free Clinics and to Keith Olbermann, without whom this would not be happening,” Halter said.

The NAFC will set up a registration process for patients and volunteers leading up to the November 21 clinic. The Alexandria, Va.-based non-profit organization operates as an advocate for more than 1,200 free medical clinics and the people they serve nationwide. The non-profit organization engages a volunteer workforce of doctors, dentists, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, technicians and other health care professionals to help meet the medical needs of patients served by free clinics.

The NAFC has received donations from people responding to a call from Olbermann, an MSNBC news anchor, for free medical clinics in six states, including Arkansas. Olbermann issued the call last week during his hour-long “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” program, which airs at 7 p.m. CST Monday through Friday on MSNBC. He announced the date and location of the Little Rock clinic on Thursday night’s program and also reported that 13,600 people had donated more than $1 million to the NAFC………….

U.S. Census Bureau statistics show that, on average, 492,000 Arkansans (17.6 percent of the state’s population) were without health insurance coverage during the three-year period of 2006 through 2008.

I’d like to applaud a current and permanent Charity Clinic in Little Rock: Harmony Clinic

Harmony Health Clinic is a free medical and dental clinic located in Little Rock, Arkansas. The Clinic, which is an affiliate of Volunteers in Medicine, provides routine health care to local residents whose income does not exceed 200% of the Federal Poverty Level and are currently medically uninsured and over the age of 13. The Clinic has commenced providing limited services, but will gradually expand its services as soon as the physical facilities and operating funds to accomplish this goal are available.

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