With the recent information reported in the Dallas Morning News, it shows without a doubt, that healthcare clinics, like Julia's Center, serve an ever growing need to provide healthcare services to people without health insurance and who cannot afford to pay. As Dianne Solis points out in her article, the lines and wait times for patients without enough money or health insurance are long for medical services at low cost or no cost clinics in the Dallas area. She noted that one-third of the patients are children, and that the number is up from two years ago due to fear of deportation by illegal immigrants when and if federal government resources are used.
While the situation with the Children may be relatively new, the Healthcare issue for the adult working-class in Dallas is as old as the immigration problem in Texas. There are many low cost or free clinics like Agape in and around the Metroplex, a few are new, but many like Agape have been quietly and unassumingly serving the uninsured for over 20 years, but they can only do so much. In addition, several low or no cost clinics have closed this year due to loss of private resources or government funding.
At Agape, the clinic expects 18,000 patient visits this year. Two years ago, less than a fourth of Agape’s patients were children. Now nearly a third are, said Gary Foster, Agape’s chief of clinical operations and a nurse practitioner.
The article speaks primarily of the need in Dallas County; however, it should be noted that the need crosses all county lines in the Metroplex. For example, although Collin County’s need may be equal to that of Dallas County, Collin County has only a fraction of the resources necessary to manage it.
Foster said it’s frustrating to see immigrant patients struggle to patch together health care, especially with so many policy proposals that place more restrictions on immigrants.
History has shown so far, no permanent solution to the uninsured problems in this country. Those with “boots on the ground”, point out very clearly that over-time, future outcomes will only get worse and that there is no clear solution in sight. It is my hope and prayer that someday, the “Care” will return to Healthcare, and people will realize “that all lives matter”.
In Texas, government programs are out of reach for those without legal status, with a few exceptions such as emergency care. Alternative paths to medical care have existed for many years.
The article also mentions that overtime, there will be even more of a load on emergency rooms, more avoiding of treatment, which will all work to increase healthcare costs for everyone.
“Over time, you will see more reliance on emergency rooms, more avoiding of treatment, and then that can really exacerbate costs,” said Kelly Whitener from Georgetown University's Center for Children and Family in Washington, D.C.
Continue by reading the full article as reported in the Dallas Morning News - November 30, 2019 - Immigrants patch together medical care with charity clinics, health fairs and medicine rationing - by Dianne Solis