The Flying Doctors came back to the Coachella Valley on Saturday to provide essential medical care to hundreds of families in need. News Channel 3’s Caitlin Thropay was there at the fair which took place at Desert Mirage High School and spoke with some families and those who attended the event.
“This year I don’t have insurance, so I came out here with my mom,” Alejandra Rodriguez told News Channel 3.
Rodriguez and hundreds more came out for the Flying Doctor event in Thermal to receive free health services. We were told that one of the booths handing out water bottles ran out after giving out 300 bottles of water. Many people were also given a free pair of glasses. Rodriguez showed us her new pair of glasses.
“I think they are pretty cool. They actually really help me see things from afar,” she said.
Alan Mora-Lopez was working one of the booths at the fair promoting mental health.
“People wait a whole year to get these services, so I think these events really help people get medical services that are needed,” he said.
Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz attended the event as both a physician and an advocate for health care.
“It breaks my heart to know that there are still people that fall through the cracks, that thousands of people still wait in line because they don’t have access to a doctor or a clinic, or they can’t afford their medications,” Ruiz said.
The fair included many booths. There were dental checks, medical exams including mammograms, HIV testing, flu shots and several other essential health care services provided. FIND Food Bank was also there giving out food. We spoke with one man who shared how much this event means to him.
“It shows us that people still care for people like us who don’t have health insurance,” Francisco Perez said.
The care didn’t end at the fair. There was also a comprehensive referral system so patients can have follow-ups.
“There’s a lot of people here who care about them and their health and are advocating to improve healthcare access for everyone in our communities,” Ruiz said.