Approximately 33 million Americans have no medical insurance covers or finances to attend a 24 emergency clinic. While the poorest get Medicaid insurance for their healthcare management, many more fail to meet this threshold and still cannot afford private health insurances or access to a 24 emergency clinic. However, at the Wise County Fairgrounds in West Virginia, there is some hope for people seeking free healthcare management services.
Since 1985, on every last weekend of July, Remote Area Medical- a non-profit organization, founded by Stan Brock, provides free medical services to over 2000 patients across the US. The organization entirely depends on donors and volunteers to provide free healthcare management, except a few who get payments. The clinic brings along first emergency rooms that cater for serious health problems for free.
This Year`s Medical Camp Experience
Order numbers are given on arrival so the earlier you get there, the faster you are served. This prompts patients to camp in the grounds for up to three days before gates open to get access to both the regular clinics and the world class first emergency rooms. As early as 4.00AM on Friday, volunteers are already issuing admission numbers, and before 6 am, over 1600 people already have access, with an extra 600 scheduled for Saturday.
The Clinic`s Sub Sections and the Services Offered including the 24 emergency clinic
The dental and eye services have a 24 hour emergency room and are the most visited facilities in this medical camp. RAM sets up over 80 mobile dental rooms all with a 24 emergency clinic. One section is reserved for cleaning services by hygienists, another one for filling, with the busiest being the extraction section at the back tent. The eye checkup services takes place in two large barns adjacent to the dental clinics with a section for a first emergency room that serves patients in critical conditions.
The x-rays, orthopedics and mammograms services, are given in large vans or converted Lorries, where patients get access to a 24 hour emergency room. Other services for example treatment on substance abuse, counselling, mental health care management and a 24 hour emergency room, have their tents scattered all over the field.
Subsequent RAM clinics have a similar demarcation but on a small scale. In Smyth County, for instance, the clinic sets base in a hangar while at Tennessee the services are offered in a racing track. Apparently, the camp at West County Fair Ground is the largest with has a 24 hour emergency room.
The Importance of RAM to Patients
One patient`s lengthy career in the hotel industry ended after she lost several front teeth. Her effort to get an alternative employer were futile for similar reasons. Getting proper healthcare management for her teeth is very expensive, and only the RAM clinic can save her situation. According to Dr Joe Skiddy, a long-serving volunteer at the camp`s first emergency room, many patients are going through such stigmatization and only have their hope on these annual clinics.
Though RAM helps a big group of people in the USA, the clinic cannot solve the entire health crisis in the country. It is hence everyone’s responsibility to adopt a good lifestyle to evade any health hazards.