One last thing stopping a free health clinic from opening

A doctor on the Central Coast is ready to open the doors to a free health clinic in San Luis Obispo, there is just one thing stopping him.

There are empty patient rooms ready to be filled with people who cannot afford health insurance.

Doctors will provide free medical and eye exams, which includes free glasses. There will be gynecology, neurology and radiology services, physical therapy, nutritional education and lung and kidney specialists.

The focus is on preventative medicine.

“The goal is to prevent people from going to the ER. Prevent that heart attack, prevent that stroke, prevent the patients who are going to need dialysis because they couldn’t come see a physician,” said Dr. Ahmad Nooristani.

He is the founder of the clinic, SLO Noor Foundation, and said he is trying to reach the middle class patients. “Part of the problem is with current insurance, the premium is getting higher, every visit costs a lot of money. I see a lot of people who do have a job they do have some income but they still cannot afford to get insurance, whether it’s the premium or the co-pay.”

Dr. Nooristani said 4,000 uninsured patients made visits to emergency rooms at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center and French Hospital Medical Center last year alone, adding that 30 percent of the population in San Luis Obispo County are uninsured.

The need for a clinic like this is more than ever, but there’s one thing stopping Dr. Nooristani from opening the doors.

The heating ventilation-air conditioning unit needed to be changed out before an operating license can be issued. It was an unexpected $26,000 cost.

“It’s one of the obstacles we’re currently working and I hope to get that donated to at least open the doors,” said Dr. Nooristani.

Everything in the office has been donated. The hope is the community will be inspired to help one last time.

Once the doors are open, Dr. Nooristani said it will be the first clinic of its kind: with so many services under one roof, offered free of charge, and being 100 percent volunteer run from the doctors to the front desk, aside from two part time positions.