People who lack medical health insurance and are in need of surgery are in a major bind. Hospitals are less willing to offer charity care, due to their own budget struggles. In Kentucky, where one-third of working-age adults are uninsured, some doctors are working to change that.
Dr. Andrew Moore has launched an innovative program called SOS (Surgery on Sunday). Once a month, doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, and others donate their time and skills to provide free outpatient surgeries to the needy. There is a waiting list, but the order is based on the urgency of patients’ needs.
Most of the people they treat earn too much to qualify for government-provided health insurance like Medicaid, but are unable to afford individual health insurance on the open market. Some have pre-existing conditions–largely exacerbated by lack of care and treatment–that would make a health insurance plan even more costly.