Project London offers free medical care

Doctors of the World is a humanitarian organisation working in over 70 countries, helping vulnerable people by offering basic medical care. They have a clinic in London, named Project:London, that provides all kinds of medical support to those without a doctor.

Project:London opened its doors in 2006 and is run by Doctors of the World (formerly known as Medecins du Monde). The aim of Project:London is not to replace the National Health System (NHS) but to offer help for those who have difficulty accessing healthcare. For example, someone may lack the paperwork receptionists request at the time of registering, they may lack knowledge of how the system works, or may not be aware of their rights. Fizza Qureshi, Project:London manager, explains: “When people visit our clinic they don’t have to worry about showing us their documents. Regardless of status we want to help those in need. People can rely on us for a confidential service. We can assist with registrations and give practical assistance and advice to reach other services they might need.”

Examples of their work outside of London include helping young mothers and their babies in the slums of India to injured civilians in Libya, and victims of natural disasters like the earthquake in Haiti. Project:London offers assistance for the most vulnerable, including victims of torture and people fleeing violence, pregnant mothers unable to access antenatal care, and babies in need of basic immunisations. Last year the clinic saw over 1,000 people who had a range of complaints.

One patient, Maria, came to the clinic when she was pregnant and unable to access antenatal care or a GP. Project:London was able to help her register and for her to receive antenatal care and was pleased with the service she had received: “The help Project:London gave me was immeasurable. The team clearly explained my rights to me as far as what I was able to receive in terms of medical services. I went on to deliver a healthy baby boy and I was thrilled to receive the support the team gave me. My partner, my baby boy and I are all doing well. I hope the service to continue to do its great work.”

The main objective of Project:London is to help everyone reach mainstream services. There are a team of volunteer doctors and support workers who provide basic healthcare in the interim period. The walk-in clinic in Bethnal Green is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1-5pm, as well as on the first Saturday of the month. The Doctors of the World philosophy is that everyone should have access to health care as a human right.

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Here’s a video describing Doctors of the World in more detail:

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