Florida Hospital Free Clinic Sees Dramatic Increase in Number of Patients

Recession forces more people with special conditions to seek free health care resources.

February 16, 2009 – Orlando, FL – Jeffrey Fischer had no idea how he was going to pay for health care for his heart when his employer took away his benefits.

“My company had to cut out benefits to survive,” Fischer said.  “Health insurance was one of the major benefits that was terminated.” 

But then he heard about the Heart Failure Clinic operated by Florida Hospital.  It turned his medical situation around.  Now he had a place to go to receive free follow up cardiac care.

“Now I’m on the medication I need,” said Fischer.  “I’m beginning to get back into my normal lifestyle and doing exercise and trying to stay healthy.”

Jeffrey Fischer is one of hundreds of people who has lost his health insurance in the economic downturn.  According to Workforce Central Florida, 7.7 percent of the area’s population is unemployed.  That translates into many people without insurance, and that number is growing.  The trend is being felt at the Heart Failure Clinic where in just the last year, the number of patients they serve has grown by more than 250 percent.  Clinic nurse practitioners say it is vital to have regular medical checkups for those who have cardiovascular disease.

“We treat patients at the Heart Failure Clinic so they don’t go back into the hospital and can actually improve their health and quality of life,” said Cindi Hayes, Cardiology Nurse Practitioner.

The Heart Failure Clinic serves patients with cardiovascular disease who have no insurance or are a non-HMO Medicaid recipient.  The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  For more information call 407-863-7195.