AL-SHIFAFree Health Clinic, located in the outskirts of San Bernardino in the US, serves low-income and uninsured patients and has been in operation for over 16 years now.
The clinic is situated in an area where nearly a third of all residents live below the poverty line and many don’t have access to cars or other transport. This is evident in the fact that while the clinic will be full with patients waiting for treatment, the parking lot will hardly have any cars.
The clinic, run by a team of dedicated Muslim physicians and volunteers, is based on the teachings of Islam that emphasize compassion for the sick and service for those in need. It has an open-door policy to provide free care regardless of race, religion or socio-economic status.
Al-Shifa primarily serves low-income and uninsured patients. The clinic has between 30 to 45 doctors volunteering each month and sees about 200 patients a month. The rest of the staff are volunteers as well as interns from Job Corps, the career technical training program administered by the US Department of Labor.
Al-Shifa offers both primary and specialty care, including cardiology, pulmonology, neurology, physical medicine, nephrology, orthopedic surgery, phlebotomy and rheumatology. The clinic also has gynecology services, free mammograms and pediatric care, as well as a low-cost dental clinic.
Al-Shifa is not the only such Muslim clinic. According to a survey, there were at least 10 such Muslim health clinics that served the poor throughout the US.