A free four-day health clinic begins Thursday at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio.
The volunteer-staffed clinic will offer medical, dental and vision care to local residents through Sunday. People will be seen first come, first served, with no income test or eligibility requirement. The clinic will open at 5:30 a.m. each day, and people can start lining up at 3 a.m., according to organizers.
The clinic is coordinated by RAM California, the state affiliate of the Remote Area Medical Foundation, a volunteer group that provides health services around the United States and the world.
Up to 800 people are expected each day of the clinic, according to organizers. Mobile vision labs will produce free prescription eyeglasses; dental staff will do cleanings, fillings and extractions; and doctors will give consultations and diagnoses and do minor medical procedures.
RAM clinics typically serve people who are uninsured, underinsured and impoverished. However, at recent clinics, there has been an increase in people who have recently lost their jobs, the "working poor" and insured families who cannot pay high insurance co-pays and deductibles, according to RAM founder Stan Brock.