Low-Cost Medical Clinic to Open Downtown - 8 News NOW

Low-Cost Medical Clinic to Open Downtown

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LAS VEGAS -- While downtown Las Vegas is becoming a popular place to live and work, it a tough place for people to find low-cost health care. For many uninsured who live in the area, the only option is the emergency room which can be costly.

A new downtown medical clinic will soon offer another option. This will be a free of charge clinic for uninsured to get any kind of medical treatment. The Affordable Care Act is helping people across the valley get access to health insurance, but doctors say, at least, a couple hundred thousand people still can't afford it and will likely remain uninsured.

"Absolutely no insurance. No coverage," said George Kline Jr. who lives in the downtown area.

When Kline doesn't have enough hours at work, he has no health care plan. He said, it wouldn't take much to have a family medical emergency.

'You got a house full of kids, you know, and a family, then you're set for a crisis," he said.

"It's hard. It's hard trying to come up with money for medical bills and trying to get seen because you don't have insurance. It's definitely tough," said Kaebryn Vincent, another downtown resident.

Free health clinics are hard to come by in the downtown area where many are well below the poverty line.

"They don't choose their health care until they're sick and then they go to the hospital and that becomes a very expensive form of care as well as bad for the patient," said Dr. Robert Shiroff who is with Volunteers in Medicine of Southern Nevada.

The doctors at non-profit Volunteers in Medicine are opening a new medical clinic near Martin Luther King Boulevard and Madison Avenue. This is their second location in the valley. The new property will provide basic care, dental and psychiatric help.

"They get all their medications for free. They get all their diagnostics for free, laboratory tests x-rays, as well as a physician's care," Dr. Robert Shiroff said.

For families in the neighborhood, it is a welcome relief and more convenient.

"We were traveling all the way to the east side to get screened or whatever, Vincent said.

The clinic is set to break ground by the end of the year and will be operational in 2014. There's a fundraiser Saturday, Oct. 12 to help raise money to speed up construction. For more information on the clinic, click here. A third clinic is expected to open in Henderson in the future.


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