SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR-TV) - Central New York’s first free clinic to be certified by the New York Department of Health is scheduled to open on November 4th
. The Rahma Free Clinic
is located at 3100 South Salina Street in Syracuse.
It took more than three years for the nonprofit, The Muslim America Care and Compassion Alliance, to get the free clinic up and running.
“We felt it's a great way to donate and to impact positively a very much needed area of Syracuse,” said Dr. Mustafa Awayda.
The clinic will have specialists like rheumatologists, gastroenterologists and surgeons like Dr. Moustafa Hassan, who said healthcare is a basic human right.
“People will be treated here like they have the best insurance ever,” said Dr. Hassan.
All employees, including the physicians, will work on a volunteer basis to help curb the abnormally high number of hospital visits made by residents on the south side of Syracuse.
Awayda said those hospital visits are usually for things like asthma or abdominal pain.
“Things that could, the majority could, be dealt with in a physicians walk-in office, but due to lack of access of availability to these patients they end up in the ER. Most of the time they end up being admitted,” said Dr. Awayda.
For many of the doctors and staff, setting up the Rahma Free Clinic was a religious calling.
“That's really my obligation as a Muslim, to help people. It's what my religion tells me to do,” said Magda Bayoumi.
“Sometimes we're excessively faced by stereotypes and negative publicity and it's another way to put out a good image and make our kids feel proud,” said Dr. Awayda.
The Rahma Free Clinic will be open two, half-days a week, starting November 4th.
Because it is state-certified, the clinic will be able to apply for grants to help fund it.
Until then, it will run completely on donations.
For more information, click here.