An Ohio Mosque Opened a Free Clinic for People Without Healthcare

Healthcare is a human right and not a privilege.

May 25, 2019

A new health Clinic recently opened in Cleveland, Ohio that treats patients for free. There are no fees, no copays, no insurance forms to fill out, no bills come to the patients' mailboxes, and prescriptions are the only thing patients pay for. This unique clinic has donated equipment and 20 doctors who volunteer their time to treat patients.

Having access to healthcare is a huge deal for the many Americans who are not insured because they cannot afford it. That is why Cleveland's Muslim community decided to open the Cleveland Ibn Sina Clinic to serve people in the community who have little or no health insurance.

“Health care is not a privilege, but [it is] a human right,” Hala Sanyurah, the clinic's communications and PR director told Cleveland.com News.

The clinic is housed in the Islamic Center of Cleveland in the city's Parma neighborhood. Organizers raised almost $20,000 to create the clinic according to Sanyurah. Unused storage space was transformed into two examination rooms, a reception area, and a waiting room; it took a year for the plans to come to fruition.

The clinic, which is part of the Ohio Association of Free Clinics and the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics offers primary care, respiratory medicine, mental health counseling, and care for chronic conditions like sleep disorders, allergies, and asthma.

The doctors who staff the clinic come from the Muslim communities in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio and are rotating their time by working once a month. Sanyurah told News5Cleveland that the clinic is a way for the doctors to give back to their community.

“A lot of the doctors came here from foreign countries outside the United States looking for better opportunities. Now that they are established, some of them are practicing with hospitals, some of them have their own practice, now they want to come together and give back to the community,” she said.

“We have the ability, we have the potential, we have the resources,” Dr. Mansoor Ahmed, one of the volunteer doctors, told News5. “Giving a little bit of your time, I think, goes a long way in making a difference in people’s lives.”

While the Parma clinic was set up by the Muslim community, and most of the staff are Muslims, it welcomes anyone in need of medical care. “This is for everybody,” Ahmed told News5, “We learn in medicine that sickness and disease affect every human being. We don’t ask when we put our stethoscope on a patient, ‘Which part of the world are you from?’”

The clinic opened in early March 2019 and is already a success. The clinic’s organizers will run fundraisers and accept donations to pay for the clinic's upkeep. They hope that their model will be extended to other locations in Northeast Ohio and beyond.

While the clinic alone will not solve the healthcare issues in the US, the members of the Islamic Center of Cleveland have opened their hearts and hands to help the struggling people in their communities. Hopefully, this will inspire other faith communities to do the same.

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.

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