Dr. Gail Lawrence surveyed the seemingly endless line. Although there had been little advertising, the word that an American doctor would be leading a free medical clinic found its way throughout the island. Despite the number of patients Gail stayed until each was treated. Still she had concerns. Who would do the follow-up? What would happen when the prescriptions ran out? The treatments were helpful, sometimes critical, but a permanent presence was needed.
Because on this need, several year later we opened a medical clinic in Sri Lanka’s Free Trade Zone, a district filled with sweat-shops that employ thousands of young village girls. The Trade Zone sees over 200 medical calls per day but its employees cannon afford private care and cannot benefit from the woeful public care. At the Trade Zone Medical Center the patients pay, if they can, what they can. Otherwise treatment is free. The medical care is a match for any private medical facility on the island. A permanent presence at last.