Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) doctors, volunteers, and healthcare professionals brought their love and care to Fresno, California on February 4, 2017, offering free services to low-income families and anyone lacking medical insurance.
A total of 60 patients came to the free clinic, where 41 patients received dental care, 31 had visual screenings, 23 got a medical check-up, and 13 were given a flu shot. The majority of those served were underprivileged immigrants for whom access to affordable healthcare is mostly non-existent.
For husband and wife Enrique Garcia and Julia Flores, migrant farmworkers with six children and limited insurance, the clinic was a true blessing.
Julia – who along with her husband works long hours each day in the fields – had not seen a doctor in years. The lack of medical care was causing her a great deal of stress and she was relieved to finally get a check-up, which helped reassure her that she is in good health and can care for her kids.
Reina Lopez, another immigrant farmworker who was getting her first check-up in many years, was also comforted when learning that nothing was wrong with her.
Marilyn came to the clinic in need of seeing a dentist, eager to explain that “my one tooth hurts, right here.” Her parents were thankful that their daughter could be seen free of charge since they have no medical insurance and subsist on a low income.
Emily Gallardo came to get an eye exam, complaining of problems with her left eye. Based on her medical insurance, she would not have been able to see a doctor until November. Thanks to this medical outreach, she received a free eye exam that confirmed issues with her left eye. She will be treated at a Tzu Chi Vision Mobile clinic within the week and will receive free prescription glasses.
For each of the patients who came to the clinic, the experience brought a sigh of relief, knowing their medical needs were finally being attended to.