As the future of national health care reform grows more uncertain by the day, what is certain is that those without health insurance will have an opportunity Wednesday, Feb. 3 to receive some free medical care.
Sponsored by the National Association of Free Clinics it’s estimated that about 1,000 uninsured individuals will be given free medical care during the one day event at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.
NAFC Executive Director Nicole Lamoureux said in a phone interview Wednesday they are excited about coming to Connecticut where an estimated 11 percent of non-elderly adults have no health insurance.
In 2009 its Communities Are Responding Everyday clinics treated more than 1,700 uninsured patients in Houston, more than 1,000 in New Orleans and more than 1,000 in Little Rock at one-day clinics and almost 2,300 in Kansas City at a two-day clinic.
On average, Lamoureux said 83 percent of the patients they see at these clinic have jobs, but no health insurance. “We found that many of the patients worked at two or more jobs and many were nurses or insurance company employees,” she said.
At many of these clinics Lamoureux said they typically see more women than men and most patients have not visited a doctor in more than five years.
At events in other states, Lamoureux said 90 percent of the percent of the patients had three or more life threatening conditions, such as hypertension, cardio-vascular disease, and diabetes.
Unlike the two free dental events held in the state, Lamoureux said the free clinic is taking appointments. She said because so many of the uninsured have jobs scheduling an appointment between the hours of noon and 7 p.m. is much easier for the patients. However, they will take walk-ins too.
She said they still need more volunteers, both medical professionals and non-medical volunteers are needed. She said they have medical malpractice coverage for all medical professionals and have all the equipment necessary to set up the clinic. They expect to have about 100 physicians and 200 to 300 medical professionals volunteer for the day.
The clinic is open to the public noon to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3 and all parking will be paid for by the NAFC. For an appointment please call 1-877-233-5159 or visit their Web site: http://freeclinics.us