Miami doctor offers free mammograms to unemployed

The Miami HeraldMarch 19, 2009 

With the number of uninsured rising daily, a prominent South Miami radiologist is offering free mammogram screenings for women who have lost their jobs and health insurance.

"In the spirit of Barack Obama, we need to volunteer to help our country," said Nilza Kallos, who operates the Breast Health Center and Diagnostic Ultrasound.

She challenged other physicians to make similar offers. "This could be like an invitation to other doctors to step up," she said.

"I've heard surgeons say they don't have enough work. Well, how about helping those who need help?"

Kallos' offer comes as many financially pressed patients are curtailing care because they can't afford it. Some are insured and can't even afford the co-payments. Few doctors in South Florida are matching Kallos' free offer, but many in Broward and Miami-Dade are offering discounts to those who need them.

"The situation has reached the crisis stage," says Bernd Wollschlaeger, a North Miami Beach physician and president of the Dade County Medical Association.

"I think we need to do something."

He says he and others are lowering their prices for their uninsured patients or giving them other help if they can't afford to pay. "If you donate some of your time, it comes back to help you," because patients will remember helpful doctors when the economy improves.

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