Uninsured health need prompts new clinic

RALEIGH For a few dollars, those who can't afford health insurance can get treatment for all kinds of ailments.

"I was at work and I couldn't see," one patient said. "It was like, my eyes were blurry, so I drove myself to WakeMed to the emergency room and they diagnosed me with type 2 diabetes."

The patient told Eyewitness News she did not want to be identified in case he employer recognized her. She said Wednesday was her first time at the new Alliance Medical Ministry.

"I don't know what I would have done without them because with the co-pay and the medicine, the insulin that they put me on is regularly $100 and they helped me get it," she explained. Ten dollars is what I paid for it."

She is one of almost two million people across the state without health insurance.

"I can't tell you the last time I went to the dentist," she said. "I can't afford it."

That number has grown so much that Alliance Medical Ministry recently opened a new acute care clinic and expanded its hours.

"Well, the need is overwhelming, it's indisputable," said Sean Harrison with the Alliance Medical Ministry. "There are just so many folks who don't have access to basic medical care let alone a primary healthcare home. I see it in patients that smile and patients that cry because they're so impacted."

"I mean, I think what he's trying to do is good to help people," the patient said. "I just think that it's got to be more. I mean, I'm not the only person out there that's uninsured."

Alliance Medical Ministry charges on a sliding scale based on income. Visits are usually $10 to $25.

For more information visit www.alliancemedicalministry.org

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