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Hundreds lining up for free healthcare checks at Inglewood Forum [UPDATED]

Hundreds of people were already lining up to receive free healthcare checks at the the Forum in Inglewood.

Volunteer doctors, dentists and optometrists will conduct free health clinic for uninsured and under-insured individuals. 

The eight-day healthcare event will run from 5:30 a.m to 6 p.m. and is sponsored by Remote Area Medical, a charity that in the past has staged clinics in rural sections of the United States. 

People started arriving before 3. Many said they didn't have health insurance and saw this as an opportunity to be checked out. Organizers placed them in stadium seats outside the Forum, and some said they waited for hours to get medical treatment.

Since 1985, about 400,000 adults and children have been treated by the organization, its leaders said. Individuals will not be required to show proof of income or insurance or documentation of any kind for treatment, according to organizers.

Only 1,200 people a day will be scheduled for the 45 medical exam rooms, 100 dental stations and 25 eye exam sites set up at The Forum, they said. Full exams, including Mammography, chest X-rays, PAP smears, blood pressure screening and diabetes screening will be offered. Prescription eye glasses will be fitted and prepared on site, said organizers.

[UPDATED 11:59 a.m. By 11 a.m. crowds of people were sitting in old basketball arena chairs set up outside the Forum, waiting for their numbers to be called by clinic organizers.

“We’ve been here since 4,” said Vickie Zigetta, 52, of Lakewood.

Zigetta and others waiting for their numbers to be called were disappointed when organizers announced that they would have no further dental appointments today. Medical exams and vision checkups were available, however.

“A lot of adults don’t have medical or dental insurance,” said Zigetta. “My three children are covered under Medical because they’re not over 21. The number we’ve got to get in is like gold."

Zigetta has No. 1,095. Organizers had reached No. 800 as she spoke.

Zigetta said she wanted to get her eyes checked and a basic physical. She planned to come back for a dental checkup tomorrow.

Inside the Forum, people were waiting in the bleachers to be called and, on the floor of the old aren where hockey and basketball games once were played, were large RVs that contained specialized medical and equipment.

The old lockers rooms had been turned into examination rooms. In one of the old locker rooms, Phillip Clovis , 56, Inglewood was waiting to receive chiropractic treatment. Clovis said he arrived at 2:15 a.m. and was handed No. 348.

“So far I’ve had acupuncture and seen a doctor. I have back problems and after the acupuncture I feel much better.

“If this service was provided to a majority of Americans, you wouldn’t have 3,000 people lined up at the door of the Forum,” Clovis said. “It’s such a blessing.”

Clovis, an unemployed auto mechanic, said he learned about Tuesday clinic while job hunting.]

-- Bob Pool

Photo credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times
Comments () | Archives (32)

Can somebody tell me how to get this info? Sign up sheets? Where exactly.... Please help, need this for me and my family..
- Josh

how many illegals were lined up this morning? can we citizens catch a break!

Now if only we could get these people to vote...

Your description of the event contributed by the good doctors is a preview of the wait with Obamacare. When you work your way through the uninsured number of 50 million (it use to be 35) there are about 11 million of people who can't afford any insurance. The others are either illegal residents, self insured, or eligible for medicare/medicad and haven't signed up. Lets take care of the 11 million and not ruin the best medical system in the world.

Where is the mass media coverage of this event?
Need more be said for health care reform?

sounds like national healthcare to me. in the private sector, you'll have to indentify yourself, pay for the level of quality, and actually have to decide between the family of cellphones, hairdoes, poor diet and healthcare. nothing is free.

This is something we'd expect to see in a third world country and yet we're the richest nation in the history of human civilization. Is there a stronger example of why we need reform now?

Where are the protesters, giving away health care how outrageous is that.

Good initative this is the American way! God bless the health care providers and the organizers of this event.

These volunteer doctors need to be recognized by the President. This is exactly what we need and I bet the insurance HMO giants are foaming at the mouth.

God Bless and love these doctors and volunteers. This is what unites people, helping those in need. This is the best of humanity in action.

I applaud the effort, however this is disheartening. In the current state of world this happens in third world nations that do not have adequate facilities to care for the population. Recession or no Recession, this should not be happening in the richest / most powerful nation in the world.

Those that don't empower them self will always live on the edge on life ..one bread at a time. Ok LA lies how about equal time for those people who have succeeded from poverty and have make something of them self with-out any government help.

Interesting but sad story. What about covering and providing info to people in need about free clinics and the great health care they give every day in Los Angeles? Continuity of care is so important, and these one-shot exams are not the answer. What happens when a problem is found? Your reporter should ollow the care at the Venice Family Clinic for the real story.

A first world nation... the so called leader of the free world... and this is how we handle our citizens health care? It is a noble endeavor by the doctors who engage in this benevolent offering. But how clearly it underscores the need for real healthcare in this country... that an organization designed to bring healthcare to rural outposts and disaster zones has to take up the mantle of providing medical care for average citizens who have little or no insurance. Richest country in the world? In what way?

Wow, things to come if the Dems get their healthcare reform.

I think this is really cool. Illnesses and other conditions know no boundaries, so it's nice to see that the uninsured are being treated.

Hi Josh, I realized that I read your comment wrong. If you're needing services, just show up and any of the appointed days. I believe it runs 6:00AM - 6:00PM (at least that's what I have on my volunteer shift paperwork) and it's first come, first served.

Wishing you the best,

Clearly, these physicians are not in it for the money. These women and men are living up to their Hippocratic oath.

Well done, men and women of the medical profession. You, just as the men and women in battle, are the true heroes!

And there is a question about whether this nation needs universal health care? OK, perhaps the proposed Obama-Democratic health plans (since there are several proposed options) are not perfect. If that is the case, then those sitting on their hands, and merely offering "no" as an answer, need to come up with some CONSTRUCTIVE alternatives. Private health insurance is only going to become more expensive, they too often "rescind" premium payers' eligibility (when payers have difficult medical problems) and they will not insure those with pre-existing conditions. Canada, England, Germany and France all know how to offer univeral health care. Their neo-natal mortality rates are better than ours and their adult populations are healthier. We need to stand up to the private healthcare system, and not let them kill universal American health care, as they did a generation ago. When do we catch on?

Wow, things to come if the Dems get their healthcare reform.

Posted by: steve | August 11, 2009 at 10:31 AM


Do you get paid to post such complete lies?

THIS IS what you get with for-profit health care and the Republican's beloved greedy avaricious 'free market' nonsense.

And it is the Republicans free market nonsense that has made insurance unaffordable so people need free care!!

This is exactly WHY the President is fighting to get everyone covered! It's because we don't have universal heath insurance that people are on the fringes - not because of Obama, and not because they aren't working. Millions of people work 40+ hours a week, and still don't have health insurance. Don't blame the victims of the "health" insurance industry, blame the insurers. I have excellent PPO insurance - that costs me an arm and a leg! I would JUMP at the chance to have universal health CARE.

While admirable and necessary, this amounts to a proverbial bandage on the wound that is healthcare in this country. It is shameful that the US has still not joined the majority of industrialized nations in providing such a basic necessity to its citizens.

And, ballin, I'm not sure what sort of break you're looking for as a citizen, but if you need the services provided by these volunteers, all you have to do is get off the computer and queue up alongside those lining up in the wee hours of the morning. Illness does not discriminate, nor should care.

@Steve: If free healthcare is universal, people won't need to flock to one place to get into a clinic - they would be able to go to ANY clinic. If you think crowding is a big enough problem that we should not universalize healthcare, think again - it would be a problem whether people were paying for it or not. Who sponsors healthcare doesn't change the number of people who need it, and by extension the number of people who seek medical help.

But what happens next? You are diagnosed with a health care problem but you cannot afford treatment. Check-ups and diagnostics without treatment aren't health care they are fear mongering.

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