A free clinic, open to the general public, will be held March 22 through 25 at the Oakland Coliseum by the California affiliate of the Remote Area Medical Foundation, also known as RAM.
According to RAM's website, it was founded in 1985 to take airborne medical relief to areas of the third world. British-born adventurer Stan Brock founded RAM as an all-volunteer health and veterinary care organization that would provide services in desolate places outside of the United States.
But in 1992 the obvious need for free services in the US led RAM to hold its first mobile expedition in this country. Since that time, demand for RAM's services in America has only increased, and RAM has since held free dental, vision, veterinary and general medical care expeditions in numerous states.
In California, volunteers from the oral surgeons, dental societies, and general services have formed RAM California, an affiliate of the Remote Area Medical Foundation. In the long-term, RAM California will expand with its own mobile equipment to provide free care around the state and to augment other organizations' existing health care efforts.
At the upcoming clinic in Oakland the following will be offered: Dental services such as fillings, extractions and cleaning; Vision services including glacoma screenings,vision examinations, prescriptions and free eye glasses made on site and Medical services including general medical exams, diabetes screening inoculations and HIV testing.
RAM said it intends to help everyone they can during the clinic, however it is limited by time, space, number of professional volunteers, and supplies. Because the services are free they expect thousands of people to show up.
Their services are provided on a first come first-served basis. You do not have to have insurance to receive care.
How to access the clinic
Each day the clinic is held RAM California willl be handing out patient numbers starting at 3 a.m. on the morning of that day’s clinic. Only one number will be issued to each person in line. (You may wait in line for someone whose circumstances do not allow them to wait, but you will not receive a number for yourself as well.) Once numbers run out, no other numbers will be issued for that day’s clinic.
Starting at 5:30 a.m. patients with numbers will be let into the clinic area in small groups to register. Once registered, patients will wait inside (seating is provided) to be seen by volunteer professionals. Volunteers will provide services to patients all day.
RAM cautions that if you do not have a number by about 6 a.m. you probably will not get served. They say their 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, they recommend that you determine what your greatest need is (dental, medical, vision), and proceed first to that particular treatment area.
It is recommended by RAM California that you bring with you some food and beverages and wear comfortable clothing in order to provide for your own comfort during the long day.
For more information
Call (916) 783-1332 for more information or click on the flyer, attached to this article. You can also see a CBS television 60 Minutes You Tube excerpt about RAM accompanying this article.