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Revamped free clinic to open doors Tuesday

April 26, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
More than 5,000 people are expected to take advantage of the free health care clinic, starting Tuesday at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.For seven days, doctors will provide medical, dental and vision care to anyone who needs it, and all of the care is provided by volunteers who are donating their time to help the community. No proof of income or insurance is required.

Last year, workers treated more than 6,300 people, but this year they've ramped up the number of volunteers and they're aiming to see as many as 9,000 people.

The L.A. Sports Arena will soon become the world's biggest doctor's office. Remote Area Medical, a Tennessee-based charity that travels the world setting up temporary clinics, will be offering much needed free health care.

"I certainly hope that we'll be able to see 1,200 people every day, but it's a question of mathematics," said Stan Brock, founder of Remote Area Medical. RAM held a clinic in Los Angeles last August and was overwhelmed by people seeking help.

The economy is certainly a factor, but Brock said that there has always been a lack of medical for the poor.

"If we had been here 20 years ago, we would be still looking at a very large number of people," said Brock.

Initially designed to help people living in remote, impoverished corners of the world, RAM soon realized that many American cities were desperately in need of these clinics.

"There's so many millions of people in this country that just simply cannot afford the medical system. The word 'remote' does apply though, to the chances many, many people in this country have to obtain the care they need," said Brock.

Unlike last year, workers handed out wristbands for people to gain entry to the clinic. Volunteers handed out approximately 5,600 wristbands Sunday, and those with wristbands will receive high priority when it comes to seeing the doctors. The clinic will open its doors at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning and will end May 3.


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