DOH Statement on Remote Area Medical Event Cancellation

Statement from NYS DOH Spokesperson Monica Mahaffey:

“The NYS Department of Health made several attempts to assist Remote Area Medical on the setup of this event, but unfortunately RAM refused to host the clinic in accordance with New York State Law. DOH is willing to continue to work with RAM to provide services in the future, once RAM has met its legal requirements.”

Additional Information:

  • After learning about Remote Area Medical's event via a call for volunteers posted in the newspaper last spring, the NYS Department of Health reached out to RAM to offer guidance on how the group might move forward with its plans.
  • Since DOH does not have the authority to waive state law that would have been violated by RAM's initial plan, agency officials suggested that the group work with existing licensed clinics to provide services, a process that could have made this event possible.
  • As the event date approached, DOH again offered help, suggesting RAM move the event from the Javits Center to an educational facility, allowing RAM to pursue a different regulatory process.
  • RAM’s unapproved plan to operate a dental and health clinic is not allowed under New York State licensure laws and raises concerns with DOH about infection control and follow-up care.
  • RAM’s intention to provide dental and health services under the supervision of physicians or dentists in a “clinic” constitutes the operation of a hospital under PHL 2801 (1). Public Health Law provides that no hospital can be operated without a valid operating certificate.
  • DOH is willing to continue working with RAM to enable it to provide services at a future date, once RAM has met the requirements set forth in law.