Friday, April 20, 2012
By: Andy Miller Published: Apr 16, 2012
Tammie Cox of Calhoun needed a cervical polyp removed. She had to wait several weeks for surgery, while dealing with cramping and bleeding.
S. Rita Wilson, a Rome woman, had a dangerous problem with a large uterine fibroid, which was finally removed after four months and three emergency room visits.
Jayme Robinson of Lithia Springs also waited months for surgery, all the while suffering pain from a strangulated hernia. [Note that this can cause gangrene and death.]
These three Georgia women were all in essentially the same financial predicament: No health insurance, and no ability to pay out of pocket for surgery and doctors’ fees.
Getting specialty care, such as surgery, can be difficult, if not impossible, for an uninsured adult with little financial means.
Primary care is cheaper and can be obtained at a retail clinic, a doctor’s office, a charity clinic or a community health center. But when an expensive specialized procedure such as surgery is needed, experts say, patients who lack coverage can have trouble getting it.
It’s a national problem, says Mark Rukavina of the Access Project, a Massachusetts-based research and advocacy organization that works to improve health and health care access.