SANFORD, Fla. - Yezetnia Giraldo does not have medical insurance and she says the rising cost of healthcare scares her from seeking treatment.
“I’d rather just stay at home and die on my bed,” said Yezetnia Giraldo, medical patient, “I went to an urgent care down the road and they were charging me $209 just to get seen by a doctor, so I didn’t have that type of money, plus other stuff they would add during the visit.”
Then, she heard about United Medical and Social Services: a new, free health clinic in Sanford.
“Treating acute and chronic medical conditions and giving them the resources they need to get their medications and bloodwork done,” said Dr. Juveria Tawwab, volunteer physician, UMSS.
Not only are all the visits and medical treatments free, but the clinic also finds free or low-cost medications for uninsured patients.
“In our practice, our common goal is to help people, help community and make healthcare affordable and accessible for everyone,” said Dr. Anam Tawwab, volunteer physician, UMSS.
Probably the most astounding aspect of this clinic is the medical staff are all volunteers from private practices and area hospitals.
“We have so many physicians, we remember when we were younger we had this idea that we were going to help the community, we were going to be this hero who helped many people and I believe this makes our dream come true,” said Tawwab.
“Seeing them turn around and get the treatment they need and feeling better, it’s the best part of my day,” said Tawwab.
All medical supplies are also donated by area health providers, giving the uninsured an option other than the emergency room.
“I think that’s why they are volunteering and donating their services here because they know it will take the pressure off of them,” said Tawwab.
When we told Yezentnia that the staff was volunteering their time to help her, she was shocked.
“Thank you, I actually had no idea about that, that’s actually something really amazing and I wish there was more people like that, willing to help others but thank you, so much,” said Giraldo.
To qualify for services, a patient must fall below the 200 percent poverty level and be uninsured. The clinic plans to expand to offer mental health and dental services. For the time being, the clinic is open three days a week, with intentions to expand the schedule, as well.
Visit the clinic's website for more information.