Last Friday, more than 3,000 people lined up for healthcare at a free pop-up medical clinic in Oakland, California, sponsored by the Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries. Most of the volunteer doctors, dentists and other professionals from around the state and even further afield were Adventists. A story by Matt O’Brien in the San Jose Mercury News began this way:
OAKLAND — They lined up before dawn outside O.co Coliseum and stood in the rain for hours Friday hoping for medical relief: teeth cleaned and cavities filled, eyes and blood pressure examined, cysts removed. One patient lost a grapefruit-sized lipoma surgically excised from his back.
Even as nearly 3.5 million Californians have now signed up for medical insurance under the new national health care law, the one-day free clinic demonstrated an ongoing need. Many of the roughly 3,000 people who crowded outside the East Oakland stadium Friday morning came for dental and adult vision care not covered by their new plans. Most had to be turned away.
People began lining up with their umbrellas in the early hours ahead of the Bridges to Health clinic’s opening. One person was quoted as saying “People were running like it was ‘Hunger Games'” when the Coliseum gates opened about 5am. The Mercury News said of the clinic’s attendees:
They transformed the Coliseum’s spacious East Side Club and New Amsterdam Bar, usually places for high-paying A’s and Raiders fans to mingle, into what looked like a massive emergency medical camp. A Christian choir performed near the front entrance.
Earlier last week, the free clinic was at the San Francisco Armory.