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People die every day from diseases that are preventable and treatable. They do so because they lack health insurance or are underinsured and cannot afford to get needed treatments.
Free health clinics provide care for these individuals, but they need funding to continue to do so. Why should people support these clinics? What benefits come with doing so?
Quality Care for All
Individuals who lack high-quality primary care often wait to see a physician until a disease has progressed so far they can no longer ignore it.
The longer a person waits, the more the illness will cost to treat. Other people have chronic conditions. Failing to treat this condition could lead to complications.
By supporting a free health clinic, men and women ensure needy individuals get the help they require in a timely manner. This helps to keep health care costs down for everyone.
Less Pressure on Emergency Rooms
Uninsured individuals often head to the emergency room when they don’t feel well. They know they will receive treatment even if they cannot afford to pay when the services are rendered. In fact, many emergency rooms don’t charge the patient at the time of their visit. They simply bill them later.
However, this means individuals who have a true emergency may need to wait to be seen. Their condition may worsen because of this delay.
When a free health clinic is available, the ER can refer the individual to the clinic for care to ensure patients with an emergency are seen promptly.
Hospital Readmissions Decline
An uninsured patient may find it difficult to locate a doctor who will treat them when they have been released from the hospital. If they don’t get the follow-up care they need, the likelihood of being readmitted to the hospital increases drastically.
As healthcare facilities are facing a shortage of workers, these readmissions could tax the system. A free clinic provides care to these patients, which reduces the risk of them being hospitalized again. This frees up beds and workers to help patients that are being seen for the first time.
Free health clinics rely on the local community for funding. Although they may receive some funds from outside sources, the main source of money for these clinics tends to be businesses, religious organizations, and local governments.
As the community learns what the free clinic is doing and how it benefits all in the area, they typically come together to provide support for the clinic. Anything that brings people together for a good cause is beneficial.
Morbidity Rates Decrease
Research shows people who lack private health insurance have higher morbidity rates than those who have private coverage.
One study found that children with public or no insurance are more likely to be hospitalized for many conditions, including chronic illness and vaccine-preventable diseases.
In addition, the severity of their illnesses is greater, and they are more likely to die. For those who survive, the hospital bills are higher than seen for privately insured patients.
In fact, this study found that correcting this imbalance would save billions in hospital charges each year. This would help to keep healthcare costs down for all people.
Every community benefits from a free health clinic. Today, many of these clinics travel to different locations to ensure all residents of an area receive care. They replace the house calls of the past and don’t cost a dime for those who qualify.
Communities need to support the clinics because they free up valuable healthcare resources. Learn more today about these clinics and their many benefits. Those who do understand why supporting the clinics today is vital to overall community health.