KYLE, Texas — To help those uninsured patients, Ascension Seton is hosting a free healthcare clinic at Seton Medical Center Hays in Kyle on Saturday.
"It would be amazing if I could just get sick and not have to worry about the cost," said Christal Crame, who cannot get new glasses because she can't afford it.
Unfortunately, getting sick is not an option for Cramer. She does not have any type of health insurance.
"Usually, I don't go to the doctor and suffer because it's just awful," Cramer said, adding that a basic physical is hard for her to get.
According to Urban Institute, Texas has more uninsured people per capita than any other state. For those living without insurance, that could mean some patients are living without vital health tests and screenings.
The event, Medical Mission at Home, will provide free medical care including pharmacy services, dental services, mammograms, vision services, foot and wound care, and select lab and imaging tests. More than 400 physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other hospital staff will volunteer to administer the medical care to those who need it.
"This is in line with the mission of what we do. This is an opportunity for us as volunteers, as providers, as physicians to fill our hearts and we leave here servicing people with a very full heart that day. We're very happy to provide that," said Dr. Fausto Meza, chief medical officer, Seton Medical Center Hays. "Our team will be ready for you. We'll be here bright and early. We'll have great instructions for everyone and we plan to take care of you in a very personalized fashion. It doesn't matter if you have insurance, so please come and we'll welcome you to our campus."
Currently, only 12 percent of the people in Hays County are insured by Medicaid, that's way below of the state average of 21 percent.
Dr. Meza said the need for an event like the Medical Mission is great given the number of people in the area who are uninsured.
"We are actually providing health care to a really important population who either don't have health insurance or who are underinsured and here in Hays County, that's a large population of people," Meza added. "Unfortunately, there's also a large population of people who don't have access to primary care, so this is very much in the mission of what Ascension Seton does."
Meza said in addition to the medical care services on-site, volunteers will help patients set up with primary care providers and link them to other resources to keep them and their families healthy.
The last time the event was hosted in January 2017, just shy of 1,000 people attended. This year, the hospital is anticipating that, or more, so patients are being advised to come early if they know they'll be needing assistance. Appointments will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The event will be open to anyone, and organizers suggest for people to come as early as possible.
The healthcare clinic will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Seton Medical Center Hays is located at 6001 Kyle Pkwy. in Kyle.