Tzu Chi Medical Center in Alhambra now a pay-per-service clinic

The formerly free Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Center on Garfield and Linda Vista avenues is trying to raise awareness that it is now a pay-for-service clinic, according to Iris Yeh of the Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation.

Yeh and the Foundation are trying to update available information to let area residents know about the change, she said in a July email. "Many potential patients are contacting our clinic after finding 'Free Clinic' postings on the internet," she said.

Due to increasing administrative costs, the clinic began charging an administrative fee for each visit a few years ago, said foundation Controller Katy Yoh. The current fees are $40 per visit for medical, $40 for dental, and $35 for alternative medicine such as acupuncture.The medical center primarily serves low-income patients or patients without health insurance, but will serve anyone, according to Yoh. If a patient is unable to afford the fees, the clinic uses a sliding scale based on the federal poverty guidelines to charge a reduced fee for the visit.

Three registered nurses and a rotating roster of 20-25 physicians serve at the clinic on a volunteer basis, providing services in family and internal medicine, optometry, ophthalmology, pediatrics, dentistry, gynecology, and more. The center also offers support groups and classes, according to the center’s website.

The Tzu Chi Medical Center is located at 1000 S. Garfield Ave., Alhambra, Calif., 91801. Its hours of operation are Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., closed Sunday. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the main clinic number at 626-281-3383 or visit them online.

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