Many individuals work full-time with no benefits, cannot afford medical insurance on their own or simply are unable to find a job that offers medical care. For many, free clinics are their only chance for medical treatment. Available to both children and adults, free clinics are located throughout the United States and commonly found in largely populated cities. Smaller, local free clinics are found in virtually every area and are the only forms of medical treatment for some children and their families.
The lack of medical insurance is a problem that affects many workers. When an unfortunate event arises, such as a sudden illness or injury, it can wipe out a family’s savings instantly. While free clinics primarily offer general care and not surgical procedures, they are essential in helping the patient to determine if more extensive medical treatment may be required. In addition to testing, free clinics may also provide check-ups, immunizations and other common medical procedures.
The best way to locate free clinics is to inquire with the local health department as to the nearest facility. As patients can expect, free clinics are very busy. As such, appointments are typically recommended if at all possible. In the case of an emergency, free clinics may be able to assist a patient or may direct them to the nearest emergency care facility. Early appointments are preferred with patients calling ahead at least one week in advance in order to confirm treatment. In the case of a sudden cold or flu onset, some free clinics have the ability to accept patients on a walk-in basis. This is completely dependant upon the schedule and the number of patients with appointments, but there is always the possibility of receiving treatment as a walk-in patient.
The treatments provided at free clinics are often those conducted by qualified medical students, who are under close supervision by a licensed medical doctor. In exchange for the educational experience to students, a number of medical schools provide free clinics to patients without medical insurance or the income to afford paid medical care.
The information in this article is to be used for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used in conjunction with, or in place of, professional medical advice. Patients who feel that they require ongoing care, which free clinics may not be able to provide, should consult their nearest hospital or medical center for proper diagnosis and treatments of their ailment.