Free Health Care for Valley Residents This Weekend
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
CREATED Sep. 26, 2013
THERMAL -- Los Medicos Voladores, The Flying Doctors, will be landing here in the valley to give free health care to people in need this weekend.
You don't need to bring anything to be treated at the free health clinic.
Anyone from the Coachella Valley is welcome, but they have to show up early because many people camp out the night before.
The clinic opens at 8am Saturday at Desert Mirage High School in Thermal.
The Flying Doctors will be here in the Coachella Valley to provide medical and dental care.
Dr. Marco Antonio Cazares isn't flying in, he's a local doctor who's been donating his services for 13 years.
"You're actually put on the spot, you have to think on your feet, you have patients who have never seen a doctor before," said Dr. Cazares, director of Spinal Injury Center.
More than 1,200 people received free health care last year at this event.
"When you see that kind of need, you see that kind of condition, you say wow, we need to provide some help for these people," said Dr. Cazares.
This is the Flying Doctors only stop in North America; all their other medical missions are in South America.
Health professionals say there is a gap in healthcare here in the valley because of poverty and too few doctors.
"We approximately give out in kind over half a million dollars worth of health services, so its a tremendous amount of money that's donated for the eastern Coachella Valley, and the whole entire Coachella Valley," said Lucy Moreno with Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo, Inc.
People will receive free medical, dental, vision care and even haircuts this year.
You don't need I-D, or proof of income -- just bring you.
"We don't ask for any documentation, we just ask you be patient because there are a lot of people, and it's first come, first serve, we just do provide the services for the uninsured and the underinsured," said Moreno.
They will also help people fill out health insurance forms.
Dr. Cazares says it's satisfying to help so many people in need.
"I'm there to give back and I see the satisfaction in the patients, and that's really what it's all about."
About 80 volunteers are flying in from northern California, as well as 30 local health professionals donating their services and 200 other volunteers.
Health professionals can still volunteer if they want to help.