As the pandemic continues, health has been under most people’s microscopes. Whether it’s visiting the doctor’s office or undergoing surgery, most South Mississippians are paying a pretty penny.
According to data from the U.S Census Bureau, up to 18% of people under 65 in South Mississippi didn’t have health insurance. The Bethesda Free Clinic in Ocean Springs wanted to take the stress off of people by providing itself as a resource.
The clinic’s executive director, Mary Buffington, said it opened in March of 2010 since a different free clinic in the area closed after Hurricane Katrina
“We still had a large overflow from folks after Katrina and we understood there were folks that needed help. Whether they didn’t have insurance or didn’t have a job. A lot of things were limited during that time,” said Buffington.
However, workers said they still noticed the overflow of people not having access to health care.
Regardless of anyone’s health insurance or economic status, the clinic said it accepts everyone so that people won’t stress over expensive bills for basic needs.