Agriculture Businesses Sponsor Health Clinics for Their Field Workers
Owners of agricultural businesses in California are establishing company-sponsored health clinics to provide medical careÂ for their field workers, HealthyCal reports.
A small percentage of California's estimated 400,000 to 600,000 agricultural laborers actually access the health care system. The field workers generally seek care at low-cost community or federally funded clinics, as well as emergency departments.
The majority of the workers are undocumented, according to HealthyCal.
According to the California Department of Health Care Services, health care costs for undocumented residents reached $1.2 billion in fiscal year 2011-2012, and the state paid $626 million of those costs.
The clinics were started to help reduce absenteeism and employee turnover. Business owners also said a desire for social justice played a role in establishing the clinics.
The Driscoll berry company offers three low-cost clinics that serve 18,000 workers. The clinics provide basic and preventive care.
Yissel Barajas -- director of philanthropy for Reiter Affiliated Companies, growers for Driscoll -- said the clinics treat walk-in patients, offer bilingual services and have limited wait times.
The clinics also can provide 120 of the most common prescriptions (Perry, HealthyCal, 11/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.