Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Bodega Clinicas

I'm of Cuban origin, and for me the 'bodega' was where my grandparents went for almost everything they needed. My parents too. Here's a read on how these clinics are catering to the spanish speaking population:

 The “bodega clinicas” that line the bustling commercial streets of immigrant neighborhoods around Los Angeles are wedged between money order kiosks and pawnshops. These storefront offices, staffed with Spanish-speaking medical providers, treat ailments for cash: a doctor’s visit is $20 to $40; a cardiology exam is $120; and at one bustling clinic, a colonoscopy is advertised on an erasable board for $700.

According to the article, little is known about the competency of the medical providers in the clinic, the manner and method of oversight/regulation,  and the responsiveness of the doctors at each clinic.

One thing is certain - these clinics are not going away. In my hometown of Atlanta, there are two new ones near my office. I saw a line out the door at one of them on a recent weekend. How the FDA or any state agency responds to the virtual explosion of these clinic bodegas remains to be seen. If it's business as usual, you may not see any real effort for oversight in the next two years, and by then it may be too late. Will there be instances of harm, unsanitary conditions, or issues regarding pill dispensation?    

Read more here: