When looking to make a maximum impact with fewer means, a medical camp is the best way to go. People come in, get registered, are diagnosed or treated (depending on the nature of the medical camp), and sometimes even provide medication.
In a short amount of time, healthcare representatives can service hundreds of individuals and provide them with potentially lifesaving consultations. If you are an individual or an organization intending to organize a free medical camp, let this blog serve as your guide.
Types of Medical Camps
First and foremost, what needs to be understood is that a medical camp is an all-encompassing term. This includes diagnoses, treatment, and awareness sessions. While most medical camps are set up to provide individuals with prompt consultations and screenings, a medical camp can include a healthcare awareness, and preventative care session or can also be an exclusive awareness camp.
You can start by deciding what the purpose of your medical camp would be and what impact are you looking to make.
How to Organize a Free Medical Camp
The process of serving your community should start by identifying the gaps. Is there a group of people who do not have access to basic healthcare? Is there a specific disease that the masses need to be aware of? Or is there a condition that is prevalent in the district for now?
Once you have successfully gauged what is needed, you can start creating a plan.
A plan should include the resource people whose help you will need to accomplish your goal. A camp is a lot of work and a team will help you organize and run things smoothly. This would include doctors, nurses, supervisors, lab technicians, registrars, and individuals for logistical support etc. The good news is, given the altruistic nature of medical camps, more often than not, medical professionals willingly offer their services.
With sufficient advertising and marketing, you may even have volunteers waiting in line to help you out!
With a solid plan and personnel in place, you are now geared up to talk to the big people to secure funding for the camp. Beware, these camps can be excessively expensive so reaching out to donors is always a good idea. The biggest costs would be medical equipment, supplies, and personnel. If you already have a list of donors in mind, that’s great but local government agencies, corporations, and foundations can help you out too.
Tip: If you have some money left over, save it to fund another camp or finance a deserving patient’s treatment!
Finalize a Location
The location is one of the most important aspects to consider when planning your medical camp. Since this might not be an ongoing program, you want to make the most out of it and help as many deserving people as possible. The underserved populations are present in a lot of areas, so between them, you need to finalize a location that has people who are most isolated from healthcare.
Moreover, there are a lot of logistical considerations as well. The location you choose should be accessible to people and have sufficient space for your set up and the attendees to line up.
On the day of, make sure that you are prepared for curveballs and emergency-related issues too. There should be a proper protocol that needs to be followed. From the time a person enters the camp, they should be registered, their concerns written down and addressed. They should also be referred to appropriate institutions for full medical care if needed.
To go the extra mile, you can also follow up with your patients to ensure that they are receiving the care needed.
This guide should ensure that your medical camp runs smoothly, is well-planned, and above all, beneficial for people. However, here are some additional tips by Transparent Hands.
Have a patient data collection system in place
Collecting this data will help you track the number of people served, what services were provided, what prevalent problems were, and how/what you can do next time to make it better.
Promote your camp
Marketing is important when spreading the word about your camp. You want a maximum amount of people to benefit. Create awareness and inform people as to when and where the camp will be held and what they should expect from it.
Partner with organizations
Collaborating with another team can widen your reach and help you offer more services.
Do an analysis
An evaluation of your camp after it has been wrapped up can help you prepare for the next one.
Provide transportation to patients (to and from)
If the camp is located in a remote or rural area, transportation will help people coming from distant locations.
Make it accessible for people with disabilities
This would pertain to providing wheelchairs, ramps, and other necessary equipment.
Some basic food and drinks will help keep you and the patients hydrated and energized throughout the day.
The next time you ask the question, “How to organize a free medical camp?” the answer is that it takes a lot more than finances, healthcare professionals, and a setup. Conducting a medical camp can be draining. Physically, financially, and even emotionally. When financially challenged people come up to you with health conditions they may not afford to get treated, it can be an eye-opening experience.
That said, it is also perhaps, one of the most fulfilling ones, knowing that your initiative has helped people who otherwise would have been overlooked.