Saying that more than 6,000 needy residents will benefit, leaders from nine Orange County health clinics on Monday applauded a county plan to spend $2.79 million so the clinics can contract with doctors and hospitals to care for their patients.
Joan Furman, president of the Coalition of Orange County Community Clinics, said the funds will enable thousands of indigent patients to receive continuing, cost-effective care instead of landing in an emergency room when their condition is critical.
Still, she warned, "this is not a solution to the crisis but merely a footprint in the quicksand of health care."
Although the new money will allow about 1,000 more women to receive prenatal care this year, "my fear is that there are going to be more who do not get care than will get care," said Margie Fites Seigel, Planned Parenthood's executive director. She noted that at least 2,400 women were turned away from county-run clinics last year because of insufficient funds.