Many people address almost any medical concern they have to their doctor, which is understandable. But the free walk in clinic in your neighborhood is another great resource, one that may be able to offer you things that your doctor cannot. A community health clinic has an advantage in that it compiles resources, such as doctors of diverse specialties, which a more general physician is less well equipped to provide. Furthermore, urgent care centers in neighborhood health clinics are often cheaper, faster and better quality care than what you might find in an emergency room at a hospital. Interested? Read on.
- Only 29% of primary care doctors have after-hours coverage, whereas many free walk in clinics offer after hours urgent care to accommodate a variety of guests.
- Urgent care facilities are on the rise, with 20,000 physicians practicing it today, and a 16% increase in the number of urgent care facilities since 2008.
- Fewer than 40% of young women receive adequate testing for STDs. Many free walk in clinics offer same day STD testing, STD testing kits, and other resources that some doctors do not.
- Emergency care centers at hospitals are becoming less and less viable places to seek timely and affordable treatment. Wait times have increased 25% at emergency rooms in 6 years (roughly 60 minutes, 4 times the average wait time at a family health clinic), average prices for one or more ER visits are upwards of $1,300, and many emergency rooms have patients being kept in hallways until rooms are made available.
- Medical walk in clinics are usually physician owned, and on average receive around 342 visitors a week.
This article is not to be interpreted as medical advice. With that being said, there are many advantages to seeking medical care from a local walk-in clinic. Comment below with your thoughts and experiences.