These were the standard for the grateful outpouring of L.A. residents that streamed into the free clinic that opened at the L.A. Sports Arena. Around 1200 souls, desperate for medical care were waiting for the doors to open on Thursday.
This clinic was a four-day event that was sponsored by the nonprofit CareNow organization. The organization is L.A. based and they expect to treat around 5000 people during the four day timeline. The clinic observed standing lines of the uninsured or under insured to get a wrist band for treatment and some folks stayed in tents overnight just to be some of the first to get medical treatment.
CareNow has sponsored three other such events in and around L.A.. Over 800 medical doctors, nurses and other medical personnel have donated their time as well as manufacturer support with supplies and needed diagnostic equipment. The CareNow President, Don Manelli said that the approximately 2 million uninsured in LA county need help and CareNow is doing all that it can. Manelli hopes to keep providing the free clinics until they are no longer needed.
The biggest request so far- dental and eye care.
Emergency rooms exist for medical treatment but for dental and eye care, no such facilities exist. The dental care was like an assembly line with dozens of dentists lined up to provide free care to the grateful recipients. The recipients of the free care all share the same or similar stories. Waiting in line for hours is worth it to the citizens that cannot afford to pay for medical treatment. The underinsured often can get preventative care such as cleanings, but some plans charge as much as $300 to the patient for a simple filling.
Underinsured people find coping skills to cope with their sickness until they get to the point that they are now unable to manage the disease or the pain. Treatment does not seem to be an option to them, but CareNow is being supported by over 35 clinics to provide follow up care.