Jan. 29, 2007 - Hundreds of people still without health insurance in areas hard-hit by Hurricane Katrina lined up before dawn for the start of a weeklong event offering free medical care.
Bundled up against the chilly wind, people began arriving at 2 a.m. Sunday outside the tents and doublewide trailers offering free care in eastern New Orleans. By the time the first 50 had been called into the registration tent, they numbered in the hundreds.
The health fair is open to anyone from the greater New Orleans area, but is specifically aimed at those who no longer have insurance, are unemployed or who otherwise can't pay for regular health care. By the end of the week, 10 thousand patients are expected to be seen. Officials said at least 600 patients were seen yesterday.
The project is a collaboration by Pat Robertson's Operation Blessing International and Remote Area Medical, which organizes volunteer medical treatment in remote parts of the United States and the world.
More than 400 health care workers have volunteered for the health fair, including doctors, dentists and specialists. Services include free prescriptions; dental fillings and teeth cleanings; eye exams and glasses; and specialized care, including pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, diabetic care and cardiology.