According the Schenectady Free Health Clinic's Web site, there are approximately 20,000 uninsured people living in Schenectady County. In the past year, more than $2 million in free care was provided by the clinic. The clinic also gave 350 pre-employment physicals. According to clinic officials, more than 250 of these people were employed.
If the clinic closes, the board said patients would be forced to visit already overcrowded emergency rooms, raising medical insurance premiums and increasing taxes.
According to Spolyar, the clinic will rely mainly on private donations to raise money this year, but he hopes the state will consider putting additional funds in the Department of Health's budget as a line item reserved for New York's free health clinics.
"The Department of Health has called us a model free clinic," said Spolyar. "We hope that means they will do what they can to keep our doors open.""