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Lost your job? No health insurance? Free medical clinic next week

“What am I supposed to do if I get sick?” asked my friend Susan whose face showed the anxiety of recent job loss and the strain of worry-induced sleep deprivation. “Losing my health insurance is even worse than losing my paycheck. Right now I get unemployment benefits and my family is nearby, so I know I won’t starve, but without health insurance, what will I do if I get really sick or have an accident?”

I had no good answer for her. From the green hills of CT to the blue waters of CA, millions of employed, underemployed, or unemployed people don’t know what to do. My friend is lucky to be relatively healthy, but one never knows what tomorrow will bring. Others are not as lucky. Some people postpone treatment for serious conditions because they can’t afford it. Without care, the conditions become more serious. And the beat goes on.

Some people are taking action, including the National Association of Free Clinics—a nonprofit---that is sponsoring a free clinic on February 3, 2010 from noon to 7:00 pm at the CT Convention Center, 100 Columbus Blvd. in Hartford. Although walk-ins are welcome on a first-come first-served basis, reservations are highly recommended (1000 people are expected). Call 1-877-233-5159 for an appointment. Parking at the Convention Center will be free that day.

Staffed by volunteer medical and nonmedical personnel, the services are comprehensive. Patients will receive a physical exam, vision screening, tests they need, time to ask questions of the doctor, and information about facilities or programs for follow-up and future care.

Susan plans to attend.





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