Health Team

'Uninsured Week' Features Free Clinics

Posted April 24, 2007

— Sixty-nine free clinics across North Carolina will stay open late Tuesday as part of national "Cover the Uninsured" week.

Clinics in rural and urban communities, including Raleigh's Urban Ministries Open Door Clinic at 1390 Capital Blvd., will remain open until 8 p.m. to provide medical, dental and pharmacy services to the uninsured and other vulnerable populations.

About 1.3 million people in North Carolina lack health insurance. With the help of volunteers, donations and partnerships with other health care providers, free clinics in the state delivered more than $66 million worth of health care free of charge in 2005.

"The folks that are coming to the free clinics are folks that are sitting in the pews in your churches. They're folks who are standing in line with you in the grocery stores. They're the folks that you wave to across the streets in your neighborhoods," said Mike Darrow, executive director of the North Carolina Association of Free Clinics.

North Carolina has the largest association of free clinics in the nation. The NCAFC is supported by partnerships with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation and the North Carolina Medical Society Foundation.


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  • blahblahblah Apr 26, 2007

    Corporate America will always find a way to get out of being obligated to offer insurance benefits to employees. I worked in a casino for 20+ years and what they did was hire more full-time dealers then were needed and then made everyone part time so benefits did not have to be offered. By law, part-time employees did not have to offered benefits. The casino saved millions a year in insurance premiums and there were literally hundreds of employees left uninsured.

  • 2boys Apr 26, 2007

    You are correct sir- you are correct! If everyone only worked high paying high benefit jobs, who is going to cook your McDonalds lunch, babysit your child, ring up your groceries? These people are working hard at neccessary jobs, but we are too cheap and uncaring to afford them healthcare. Would you rather the mom not take care of the childs sniffles, then pay when it becomes pnemonia?

  • yacs Apr 26, 2007

    Yeah, cheekygreek and seriously worked hard for their benefits -- that's how they were able to afford to have their compassion surgically removed!

  • pirate lady Apr 26, 2007

    Nothing is free. Someone pays for it. Why not call it what it is The American Taxpayers Medical Clinics. These large corporations are raking in millions in profits. If they don't want to provide their employees with health insurance then they should be forced to open their own "free clinics".

  • cheekygreek Apr 26, 2007

    Seriously:Same thought here.
    Universal Health will bilk our resources dry.You will have young mothers who will take babies in at the first sniffle,ER will fill up more readily,as it will become easier.We pay enough out now for lazies to be on Medicaid.Take care of our Elders,and let the young do just as I did...WORK.

  • Seriously Apr 25, 2007

    You people are crazy. If everything is going to be free, what's the incentive to work an honest day's job? I'm just out of college, working a full time job WITH benefits. (To top it off, my degree was in art.) Jobs with benefits are out there.

    What the media doesn't tell you is that, contributing to the 1.3 million without insurance are the young, health people who just don't see the need in paying for insurance or decline it when they are offered. If you want free healthcare, go to Canada! Universal healthcare will NEVER work in the US. I'm tired of working so others can have clinics for free!

  • BEACH Apr 25, 2007

    No one should have to go to any clinic. Everyone in US should
    have insurance. BUSH should use that money he is spending in
    the war TO INSURE everyone !!!!!!!!

  • jetset Apr 25, 2007

    Large corporations that do this should be ashamed!! I hope something comes along for this ECU graduate so he can get another job with lots of pay and good benefits. I wonder if the top dogs of these corporations go without health insurance too? Boy, this irks me!!

  • Hip-Shot Apr 24, 2007

    Even the employed lack insurance. Corporations have gone to hiring temporary and contract help so they don't have to pay's good for industry, but the poor employees get nothing but a paycheck, and usually not enough left over to buy insurance on their own.

    I'm a recent ECU graduate and the only reason I have health insurance on me is because my wife has put me on her policy.
    She's a nurse and got her education through the community college. I'm a 4 year degree holder in IT with certifications and I can only land short term contract positions.

  • jetset Apr 24, 2007

    We definitely need a free clinic here in Johnston County. There are SO MANY uninsured people living in this county. It would be a God send.