The Doctor Is In – Even If You Don’t Have Health Insurance

free medical clinic
By Deb Kallen, Communications Assistant

Low cost or free medical clinics

It’s been a long, hard winter. You’ve been very religious about using the hand sanitizer at Freddie’s before you grabbed your grocery cart but to no avail.

You’ve probably had at least one bad cold since December. Or two. Maybe you’ve had one that’s hung on for six weeks and it’s settled in your lungs. You know it’s time to see a doctor, but you don’t have insurance. Where do you go? Oregon offers many alternatives. We’ll start with Portland.

 

Low-cost or free medical clinics - Portland metro

There are a number of free or low-cost medical clinics in the Portland Metro area where you can get checked out and, in some cases, receive prescription drugs. A good place to start is the Coalition of Community Health Clinics. There are thirteen altogether, united under one umbrella. You can download a list of participating medical clinics at their website.

How Do I Access these Clinics?

If you are a member of the unfortunate and growing demographic of the uninsured or underinsured and you need to find a low-cost medical clinic, go to the Coalition’s website. It offers a wonderful low-cost medical clinic tool designed to streamline the referral process for you and for them. Take the time to fill it out.

Their tool filters your online entries to determine if you are income-eligible for services. If you are, it will auto-select a clinic that can best serve you.
Again, don’t skip the questionnaire. In the end, it will help you get to the right clinic for you – and probably sooner than if you didn’t fill it out.

How Are the Clinics Different?

Many of the Coalition’s free or low-cost clinics offer specialized services. Some serve patients who need urgent care. This might include patients with serious medical problems like the flu with an accompanying high fever or a cut that won’t stop bleeding. Others serve an aging population. Still others serve people with chronic diseases like diabetes, or people with permanent physical disabilities.

Project Access NOW

Project Access NOW is a community initiative in Northwest Oregon and Vancouver that builds access to health care through the voluntary support of its members. They include Metro-area doctors of all specialties, health clinics, and hospitals. You must be enrolled to take advantage of Project Access NOW’s free and low-cost services for the uninsured.

Deschutes County medical clinics

  1. Volunteers in Medicine Clinic of the Cascades, in Bend. In addition to offering a wide range of medical services, they also have a drug dispensary.

Lane County medical clinics

  1. The White Bird Clinic, in Eugene, offers a wide array of traditional medical services as well as acupuncture, drug and alcohol treatment, counseling, and dental care. They have a referral hotline to connect people with services they are unable to offer.
  2. Volunteers in Medicine, in Springfield, offers similar services to the White Bird Clinic. They are not in any way connected with VIM of the Cascades.

Yamhill County medical clinics

  1. Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Clinics are low-cost medical clinics located in Beaverton, Cornelius, Hillsboro, and McMinnville. The focus is on primary health care with a special emphasis on migrant and seasonal farm workers. Virginia Garcia operates two school-based health centers and two comprehensive pediatric dental clinics within the county.

Lincoln County medical clinics

  1. The Lincoln Community Health Center, in Lincoln City, offers annual physical exams and routine office visits as part of their extensive range of services.

Jefferson and Crook counties medical clinics

  1. Mosaic Medical in Madras and Prineville. This is a federally qualified low-cost medical clinic. You will not be turned away if you’re unable to pay. Medical specialties include pediatrics and infectious disease. Services also include assisting patients with enrollment in pharmaceutical programs.

*Note: There is also a Deschutes County Mosaic Clinic in Bend

Clark County medical clinics

  1. New Heights Clinic, in Vancouver. There is a medical and a dental clinic affiliated with New Heights Church. Although this clinic has been included in this blog, they are currently at capacity and are unable to take on new patients at this time.