Sunday, May 06, 2007

Raphael Clinic - Angel of Migrant Workers

I am back to Korea. And this is my first Blog entry, whew... after a long. a bit long time.

I stayed with a friend in Seoul (en route to Gwangju City) for the weekend and I was brought to a Raphael Clinic where she gets free check-up and medicine for her ailment. The Clinic is located at Hyewha across the Catholic Church where Filipinos would go to mass filling the church to the brim on a Sunday. And of course the usual tiangge, where bangus, tilapia, tsitsirya and other grocery items from the Philippines are imported. I got my telephone card to call long distance from the Pinoy vendors also. Very industrious and enterprising Pinoy who works on weekdays and on a Sunday they don’t rest but sell their wares for extra-income to send back home.

So, at Raphael clinic, I was so amazed by the service they provide. I queued from the ground floor to the 3rd floor where I met other migrant workers being given welcome snacks after registration.

Aside from Filipinos, South Asians, a handful of Central Asians, noticeable were Korean looking women – or those powerful Ajumas who speaks fluently in Korean of course. I found later on they were Chinese-Koreans. Koreans of course could very well afford to pay for their medicines and are exempted to the free service offered by Raphael Clinic.

I thought they offer Vitamins and stuff my original intention for going, but instead I had my eye checked and got medicine to cure my sty. I admire those volunteers and the management of the clinic they are now celebrating their 10-wonderful years of service to Migrant Workers.

Well I saw one guy who seems to be following the number hanging in each unit. It would be helpful for patients to have a flow-chart at the lounge area to follow so they could trace where to go and what to do after they get registered or received their snacks for that matter. Good thing the volunteers are so friendly to be coaxed to talk back in English, once they get their confidence in speaking English they are very engaging to converse with.

I attempted to talk or interview my attending physician ( we reversed our roles) – a medical student from a Catholic University, as much as he would like to talk with me he is so pressured to attend to other patients, passing me on to the eye doctor. The eye doctor was hoping they could have more advance facilities when I asked him if he is paid for his services. So I found out that like the rest of the doctors and staff he offers his services for free two Sundays in a month to Raphael Clinic.

Congratulations to Raphael Clinic for their 10th Anniversary, may you all be continually blessed, inspired and be of service of the needy following the example of Jesus Christ. Good wishes !

So here is the profile/story and call for support of the clinic I got from their website. They can be reached at (02) 763-7595/764-7595 or email – 97 raphael@hanmail.net or through their website – www.raphael.or.kr


Raphael Clinic

Raphael Clinic is medical volunteer institute which offers free medical service for migrant workers in Korea. Established in April 13, 1997, the clinic has served more than 69,824 patients since August of 2005.

The clinic is open every week ( we visited on a weekend) which is divided into full service with 17 clinic departments and small service with only the internal clinic department. A mass is held at 12 : 30 pm with volunteer servicers attending the mass and after the clinic is opened at 2:00 pm for migrant patients.
Prescribed medicines, medical equipments and supplies use for medical treatment at

Raphael Clinic are managed and provided for by its donors and supporters, who are called “Angel members “and “De-Angel members” they donate 1,004 won or, 10,004 won, every month. Aside from individual donors the clinic is also supported financially by foundations, such as The Lotte Foundation and The Kim-Nam-Ho Foundation. The clinic is staffed by about 250 medical volunteers and 200 general volunteers who provide their time and skills free of charge, real volunteer-angels!

The budget of Raphael Clinic is managed by donation only. Because of its limited budget the clinic is unable to provide some specific medicines that are too expensive or not generally prescribed like those of psychotropic drugs.

SERVICES

a) Full clinic
Registration time is from 1:50 p.m. ~ 4:30 p.m., Internal Department, Family Medicine, Surgery, Nerve Surgery, Pediatrics, Rehabilitation Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dermatology, Ophthalmology, Urology, Orthopedic Surgery, Neuropsychiatry, Otorhinolaryngology, Dental Clinic, Neurology, Radiology, Pharmacy, Clinical Pathology, with 35 medical and 80 general volunteer staff.

b) Small clinic
Registration time at 1: 50 p.m. ~ 3:30 p.m., Internal Department only with 15 medical and 30 general volunteer-staff.

Participating Group

Korea University College of Medicine/
Seoul National University College of Medicine/
Ehwa Women University College of Medicine
Catholic Student Union,
The Catholic University of Korea,
Center For Anthropology Education,
Catholic Pharmacist,
Bun-Dang So Mang Churches,
Seoul University Hospital - Radiology Deaprtment,
He-Hwa Radiology Hospital, etc.

“Please Be the Raphael Angels”

Your warm support can be a source of hope to Migrant Workers who are in difficulty.

Make your donation to the following banks:
• Chohung Bank 367-03-026167 [Raphael Clinic]
• WooRi Bank 1005-600-949540 [Raphael Clinic]
• KookMin Bank 488401-01-149932 [Raphael Clinic]