This story shows how a non-profit, Remote Area Medical, was able to provide medical care for free to approximately 8,000 people over the course of a week in a temporary clinic in the southern Los Angeles area.
Thousands Line Up for Promise of Free Health Care
By JENNIFER STEINHAUER
Published: August 12, 2009
INGLEWOOD, Calif. — They came for new teeth mostly, but also for blood pressure checks, mammograms, immunizations and acupuncture for pain. Neighboring South Los Angeles is a place where health care is scarce, and so when it was offered nearby, word got around.
For the second day in a row, thousands of people lined up on Wednesday — starting after midnight and snaking into the early hours — for free dental, medical and vision services, courtesy of a nonprofit group that more typically provides mobile health care for the rural poor.
Like a giant MASH unit, the floor of the Forum, the arena where Madonna once played four sold-out shows, housed aisle upon aisle of dental chairs, where drilling, cleaning and extracting took place in the open. A few cushions were duct-taped to a folding table in a coat closet, an examining room where Dr. Eugene Taw, a volunteer, saw patients.