Just In Case You Needed Another Reason in Favor of Universal Health Care System

June 15, 2010

New Survey Finds Free Clinics Heavily Burdened

“Our nation’s 46 million uninsured often delay or forgo needed healthcare because the cost is prohibitive,” said study author Julie S. Darnell, PhD, MHSA, then of the University of Chicago and now with the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The mean cost for a doctor visit for uninsured patients is around $50, Darnell wrote.

Traditional sources of care, including public clinics and federal health centers, both charge fees and bill patients. “Aside from cost considerations, care is frequently difficult to find, especially for those with the least resources,” Darnell added. For many poor, uninsured, and underserved patients, the only sources of care are emergency rooms or free clinics.

At the time of the survey, 1,007 free clinics were known to be operating throughout 49 states and the District of Columbia (Alaska was the lone exception).

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