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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.

Soldiers' Mental Health Is Suffering


Consultant Paul Gionfriddo, at his site Our Health Policy Matters, writes about a new Veterans Administration study that shows the Middle East wars have had an enormous impact on soldiers' mental health.

The VA study reveals that more than half of returning veterans since 2001 who sought medical care through the VA system were diagnosed with mental disorders.