This is a link to a news story about a free clinic in Houston this week, sponsored by television’s Dr. Oz. The written story does not do justice to the event, you need to watch the clip. In October, the Houston segment will be featured on Dr. Oz’s program.
The people who showed up for this free clinic are a clear illustration of why health care reform, and health care provision in this country, should not be a political issue. It is also an illustration of why there is need for reform. Sure, it’s television, and sure, there’s probably an agenda behind it, though the facts are real enough. In prosperous Texas, or at least that’s what our own politicians and media want us to think, a third of the population is unable to afford health insurance and as a result, for the most part is unable to access the health care system.
The fact that physicians, nurses and other medical professionals not only volunteered their time for this particular event, but made connections with needy people for continued treatment of their health issues down the line is a clear indication that, at least from the perspective of medical professionals, profit is not the motive for service. It’s comforting to know that many people who have dedicated their lives to the medical profession feel the need to give generously and are willing to do so.
For those of us who are not gifted with the skills and abilities to be medical professionals, if we have a Christian conscience, if we believe that spiritual transformation is outwardly demonstrated by a changed life, then we should be motivated to find some other way to minister, to assist those who have the skills and knowledge, and make it possible for them to serve more of those who are in need. If we believe in the sanctity of human life, then shouldn’t we believe that health care is also a basic human right?
Obviously, for most of us, that is going to mean being involved in some way other than trying to change the current system, whether that is done through the political process, or some other way. But then, as followers of Christ, we should always be looking for ways that our spiritual gifts can be used in ministry to meet the needs of others.