Faith based clinics and health care reform

There’s been a rise in parish-based nursing programs in recent years. And many church groups are even starting up regular health clinics for indigent and other under-served groups in their community. What effect will health care reform have on these efforts?

Merlene Davis, a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader tries to answer this question, focusing on a some local examples in her community like Fayette County Refuge Medical Clinic:

“Bibbs, a recovering addict who was one of the clinic’s first patients, voluntarily cleans the bright, well-equipped clinic.

‘It’s a way for me to give back,’ she said. ‘They are a godsend to me. There is such an outpouring of love in this place.’

Volunteers and staff members have devotions every morning and pray for patients who have asked for prayer on cards left in the lobby.

But are free clinics an alternative to reform?

As far as Smith knows, even if a health care reform plan is passed, her clinic will continue to operate. But who knows what services it will offer and how? A clinic board member has read the current proposal and discussions about the clinic’s future are under way with board members.

‘We’ve definitely thought about it,’ she said. ‘We will adjust when that happens. Maybe we would shift into more dental care. But to be completely honest, the type of care we provide rivals any care that is out there.'”

Read the full article here.

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