Post # 1
oh lovely bees, I need some advice here.
I live in a portion of our country which is really not anything like the lower 48. We are at nearly 95% poverty rates most of the year and because of that our little town gets a lot of outside help. Our clinic will only see patients who are American indian/Alaska Native (I am not) Which means I have to fly over 800 miles to do silly things like get a dental appointment or an eye exam.
There is a group of Army dr.s up here now conducting eye exams and child vacinations for free. I have not had my eyes checked in over 4 years and my glasses are badly scratched. I curently have insurance which will cover the check up but I can not afford the $600 flight to get there. I do have a job and not under the poverty line so I feel like I am not thier intended audience but I just called and they said they have an entire day worth of appointments open later this week. I feel bad using the free doctors becuase I do have insurance but if other people havent taken those appointments do you think it is fair? I hate using the system and try to be as independant as possible, but saving the $600 for a flight down there and the cost of glasses would help so much.
any thoughts bees? am I a horrible person for taking an appointment which could have potentially gone to someone more needy even though the clinic will take them?
Post # 3
@globalmargaret: You are not a horrible person. It is up to them to set their criteria – if they wanted to exclude you, they could have. since they didn’t, do it! Eye care is important!
Post # 4
I think if there is no appt set, it would be totally fine. You aren’t taking time away from someone else, since their time was already free
Post # 5
I say go for it, you can’t afford the entire cost for you otherwise. If you feel guilty about it, donate some money to something related.
Post # 6
You technically need the free care since you haven’t been able to be seen in years due to the cost of the flight. I would do it.
Post # 7
They have the appointment time, I say go for it. If you really want to, maybe ask if you can make a donation to help their cause. : )
Post # 8
I don’t see an issue with it. If you’re feeling super guilty maybe see if you can be wait listed for appointments that don’t get taken or on standby for cancellations/no shows.
Post # 9
I think it’s okay to do it. The reason they offer the free treatment is to help people who couldn’t otherwise afford it, which you can’t due to the flight required.
Post # 10
I agree with PP. You won’t be taking time away from someone more needy, and you can make a donation to absolve your conscience.
Post # 11
I think it’s totally fine. I don’t think it’s fair to you to be excluded from the clinic that is there just because you’re not a certain demographic.
Post # 12
I agree with everyone. You should do it, and you shouldn’t have to pay $600 just in travel costs to get care.
Post # 13
That is a tough one. I know you have posted about how they can refuse to see you before. That is a difficult situation. If it were me, I would probably wait, unless it is a life-threatening, or emergency, since you do have a good job. I really like you though 🙂 I just wanted to be honest. If you do end up seeing them, it is not entirely your fault, because you are basically being discriminated against- not by $ like the people are that need to seek free help, rather by ethnicity. So, what are you suposed to do? Either go free or wait… that stinks that they can refuse to see you!
Post # 14
Yeah… having to pay $600 for an eye appointment is grounds to me to seek the free clinic. It seems insane to me that there isn’t SOMETHING in your town you can do. Wow. I thought I lived in the boonies! But seriously, especially if they have a whole day of free appointments, I don’t see a reason not to. Obviously there could be other people who need it, but if there are times avaliable, then go ahead.
Post # 15
@globalmargaret: I think you should take the appt. You need it and they’re available. If you really want to be sure you aren’t “taking time” from someone who needs it more you could always ask them to put you on a waitlist and just come in when an appt. falls through that they wouldn’t have time to fill anyway. I don’t think that’s neccesary, but if you really feel weird about it it’s worth a thought.