Thursday, March 18, 2010

Uninsured People to Receive Help at Atlanta Free Health Clinic Event Amidst Health Care Reform Debates

/PRNewswire/ -- While health care reform discussions continue in the nation's capitol, the National Association of Free Clinics (NAFC) is bringing help to the Atlanta area for people without health insurance who are in need of medical care. Uninsured residents of Georgia who want to attend the free health clinic event being held at the Georgia International Convention Center near Atlanta on March 27 should call 877-233-5159 toll-free as soon as possible to schedule appointments.

As this is Cover the Uninsured Week, the NAFC encourages people - both medical and non-medical - to volunteer at this event. Volunteers can find more information about the Atlanta C.A.R.E. clinic and can register to volunteer at www.regonline.com/Atlanta_CARE_Clinic.

This event is about getting people who need care connected to free clinics and other safety-net providers for ongoing treatment. It highlights the incredible work that the 1,200 free health clinics around the country do every day to serve about 8 million uninsured people.

"While legislators continue the health care debates, the NAFC is bringing action to the problem now, helping those who may not be aware of the safety-net available to them and who have not had access to the medical care they need," NAFC Executive Director Nicole Lamoureux said.

Several hundred doctors, other medical providers and non-medical volunteers are expected to participate in the C.A.R.E. (Communities Are Responding Everyday) Clinic sponsored by the NAFC and the Georgia Free Clinic Network. They will provide care for a wide range of medical issues at no cost to participants or taxpayers from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on March 27.

Almost 18 percent of the non-elderly residents of Georgia do not have health insurance.

"About 83 percent of uninsured people have jobs," Donna Looper, executive director of the Georgia Free Clinic Network, said. "Being uninsured is not the same as being unemployed. At past C.A.R.E. Clinics, we found that many of the patients worked at two or more jobs but did not receive health insurance benefits. Some even worked as nurses or for insurance companies but still did not have insurance themselves."

This will be the sixth in a series of large, mostly one-day C.A.R.E. Clinics held around the country to bring together health care professionals and non-medical volunteers, to serve the needs of thousands of people who might otherwise go without medical care. Since last September, more than 7,000 uninsured patients received treatment at C.A.R.E. Clinics in Houston, New Orleans, Little Rock, Kansas City and Hartford.

In addition to the toll-free number for patients to register for the C.A.R.E. Clinic, patients and volunteers also can find information about the clinic online at: http://freeclinics.us/.

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