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Every day, hundreds of sick and injured patients walk into free and charitable clinics around the Tampa Bay area in need of a doctor.Many are suffering from chronic conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Some patients were referred to the clinics by staff at hospitals where they landed after years of neglecting to care for treatable conditions.The clinics allow the patients to pay what they can, or nothing at all. They are staffed by doctors and nurses who volunteer their time. They survive off donations and small grants.Many of the patients have jobs but they are living paycheck to paycheck. None have health insurance, either because they do not qualify for Medicaid or can’t afford private coverage. For these patients, the clinics are often their only option for primary care.

Staff Shortages Create Chaos At FL Mental Hospitals

Florida Department of Children and Families

The 2010 death of a 23-year-old man at the North Florida Evaluation and Treatment Center in Gainesville can be blamed on worker stress and staff shortages, the facility’s former administrator told the Tampa Bay Times and Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

The news investigation into Florida’s mental hospitals highlights the case of Anthony Barsotti, who died after an orderly broke up a scuffle between patients and pushed Barsotti head-first into a concrete wall. His injuries were not addressed appropriately and 911 wasn’t called for several hours, the investigation shows.