CLEVELAND, Tennessee(WDEF) - In recent years, the cost of health care has sky-rocketed to the point where many people have been forced to go without it but in Cleveland, a traveling organization has offered free health care to anyone willing to wait in line to get it.
Hundreds of people from all over the Tennessee Valley waited in long lines at Cleveland High School to receive free health care. While some patients did have health insurance, many either did not have it or where under-insured. No matter a persons status, anyone who waited in line took advantage of an opportunity to see a family doctor, dentist and Ophthalmologist at no cost.
"There's so many people unemployed in this area that's in direr need, said Tracey Cummings of Dalton.
"I don't have the money to pay for it and I appreciate these people here coming in to help the people," said Marvin Hitson of Bradley County.
The organization responsible for providing the free health care clinic is called Remote Area Medical or R.AM. It's a a non-profit, volunteer, airborne relief corps made up of local and national doctors who travel into various locations to administer free health care.
WDEF wanted to know how the services were free to anyone who showed up and R.A.M.'s director Ron Brewer had the answers.
"It's built up over the years from grant money that we have received and people who have made contributions. All of our income for the clinic comes from nickel and dime checks," Brewer said.
Brewer went on to say that when hundreds of people show up for free health care, it sends a message that says the need for people to get check-ups is great.
"I think it says we need some help. We need health care. We need some type of health care and I would not care if some bill is passed that will put us out of business tomorrow. I'd be happy because that would be a great help for all the citizens in the continental United States," said Brewer.
The free service will continue through Sunday afternoon then the organization will pack up and head to another location in another state.