Thousands Line Up In Oakland For Free Health Clinic
OAKLAND (KCBS) – The doctor’s office is officially closed at the Oakland Coliseum where several thousand people received free medical care from Saturday through Tuesday. The event was organized by Tennessee-based nonprofit Remote Area Medical, a group primarily known for providing free medical services overseas and in rural and underserved areas of the United States.
”The total number of patients that we recorded here was 3,013,” said RAM Founder Stan Brock. “We started out with a heavy day on Saturday with just under 1,000 people.”
KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:
Brock says many people who were at the event discovered medical problems they didn’t know they had.
”We found a very high percentage of diabetic patients, many of whom did not know that they were diabetic,” said Brock.
This was the organization’s 640th free clinic.
Licensed dental, medical and vision professionals volunteered from across the Bay Area, including Dr. Katherine Vo, a dentist in San Francisco.
“I’m doing some extractions and some fillings and whatever the patients need,” she said.
Organizers advised patients to begin lining up at midnight the night before they’d like to be seen. Dee waited 12 hours but said it was well worth it.
“They completed my filling then cleaned my teeth,” she said. “It feels great and I’m thankful. Now I’m going to get a pair of glasses and I’ll be all set.”
Volunteers began handing out numbers at 3:30 a.m. and patients were seen on a first come, first served basis two hours later.
The group made its first Northern California appearance last weekend at Sacramento’s Cal Expo and provided care to over 3,600 people at the four-day event.
(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)