MEN’S CLINIC: Santa Ana Clinic Serves Low-Income Population
One night a week, a free medical clinic in Santa Ana "focuses solely on the needs of poor men," offering information on STDs and birth control and providing screenings for testicular and prostate cancer, the Orange County Register reports. Most health care outreach efforts are aimed at low-income women and children -- bypassing men, who often simply go untreated, said the clinic's directors. Mary Watson, executive director of the Free Health Plan, the not-for-profit organization that runs the clinic, said that most immigrant men "fear that the clinic may act as an enforcement agency and will turn them in if they don't have their citizenship papers." Men also worry that they won't receive treatment without insurance, she said, noting that the "clinic treats all people who need help, regardless of citizenship status" through a $15,000 grant from Kaiser Permanente. Since the clinic opened in January, 40 to 50 men have sought care for a range of needs, from basic blood pressure screenings to more urgent medical conditions, which are referred to specialists. A recent Orange County survey found that 25% of Hispanic or Vietnamese residents lack health insurance, and Hispanic men are "less likely than their white counterparts to have visited a health care provider." Notes Watson, "Women's clinics are all over the place. They are easily reimbursed ... Men get shortchanged in public health." (Godines, 5/3).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.