Free medical services will be offered this weekend right here in Eastern Kentucky. The Remote Area Medical Expedition, also known as RAM, offers those services for the uninsured or underinsured. RAM officials and volunteers in Pike County are gearing up for what they expect to be a huge turnout this weekend.
With unemployment numbers up and RAM increasing the number of patients they will be able to see, an estimated 1,500 people will show up to Pike County Central High School.
Social Services Commissioner in Pike County, Carol Napier, says the clinic is great. "It's free. If people are willing to come and wait, you know, they'll receive a lot of good services." RAM will provide everything from eye, dental, cardiology and diabetic care, to women's, men's and pediatric health.
Pike County Judge-Executive William T. Rutherfod says, "I know there are a lot of people in Eastern Kentucky, as there are around the country, that are hurting, so, what an opportunity it is."
RAM and county officials are working to limit costs of follow-up doctor's visits or any prescriptions people may encounter after this weekend. Napier says, "There are pharmaceutical companies out there that do provide free medications and that's where kentucky homeplace comes into play, and they'll follow up with those individuals."
Kentucky Homeplace is a division of UK's Center for Excellence in Rural Health, and it provides access to medical services at the lowest cost possible.
The RAM clinic operates on a first come first serve basis. It is open from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm Saturday and Sunday at Pike County Central High School.