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Thousands Line Up For RAM Free Medical Clinic In Oakland

Just a Sunday morning update from the RAM California free clinic in Oakland this weekend. Thousands lined up for three medical, dental and vision care, and organizers expect that as many as three thousand patients could be seen in total:

Julian Burleson-Kimball, 44, lined up outside the Oakland Coliseum at 1:30 a.m. Thursday morning to get a cavity filled. He was the 255th person in line on the first day of the Remote Medical Access free health clinic, which runs through Sunday.

By 11 a.m., Burleson-Kimball, a psychology student at Laney College, was in a dentist’s chair being treated for free by Daniel Nam, a dentist who practices in San Francisco and Oakland and who was volunteering at an RMA clinic for the eighth time.

Burleson-Kimball had come to the event with four of his friends. “You would think in this country we would have health insurance for people and this wouldn’t be necessary, because there is so much money in this country,” he said.

On Thursday, the clinic is treating 589 people, providing medical, dental and vision care. Over the course of four days at Oakland Coliseum, RMA expects to see more than 3,000 people, according to Laura Kirschenmann, the organization’s volunteer coordinator.

Hundreds Line Up for Free Dental Care in Oakland

Don’t forget! Another RAM California free clinic will be in Sacramento from March 30th to April 2nd. If you’re interested in the Sacramento clinic remember:

Be sure to arrive early. Lines can be long and start early in the morning; numbers will be given out around 3:00 AM each day prior to the clinic opening. The clinic registration opens at 5:30 AM, and patients are seen on a first-come, first-served basis. For the best chance of being seen, plan to arrive by 3:00 AM on the day you wish to receive treatment. Only one number will be issued to each person in line. You are allowed to wait for someone who cannot wait for themselves (i.e. for medical reasons), but you will not be able to get a second number for yourself if you are waiting on behalf of someone else.

If you do not have a number by about 6 a.m. you probably will not get served. The clinics fill up fast so you will not be able to arrive later in the day and still receive service. Because of the large number of patients seen each day, it’s suggested that you determine what your greatest need is (dental, medical, vision), and proceed first to that particular treatment area. Be prepared for cool weather and bring snacks. Once registered, be prepared for long waits before being seen by a doctor.

During RAM‘s free healthcare clinics in Oakland and Sacramento last year, people lined up for days in advance in order to receive free medical treatment. Volunteers were able to treat almost 7,000 patients, many of whom had lost their jobs and their health insurance in the economic downturn. Some supplies such as a prescription eyeglasses are only available until they run out.

For more information on RAM and its schedule to provide free medical care, visit the RAM California website.

Are you planning on visiting a free healthcare clinic this year? Tell us about it in our forum!

Join the forum discussion on this post

Related posts:

  1. Remote Area Medical Free Medical, Dental, Vision Clinic at Oakland-Alameda Coliseum April 9th-12th
  2. Remote Area Medical (RAM) Will Offer Free Medical, Dental, Vision Care in Oakland, Sacramento, Oklahoma City in 2012
  3. Remote Area Medical’s Free Medical, Vision, Dental Clinic in Sacramento Starts Today, Oakland Clinic Starts April 9th
  4. Remote Area Medical Will Offer Free Medical, Dental, Vision Care in Oakland March 22nd-25th
  5. 1,500 Show Up for Free Medical, Dental, Vision Care From RAM In Oakland; 2,000 More Expected

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