Memorial Hospital Clinic in Gulfport Adds Needed Medical Care OptionsBy Rhonda Miller | Published 24 Mar 2011 03:40pm |
Gulf Coast residents have an additional option for treatment of minor medical concerns with a Memorial Hospital clinic opening March 28 at Walmart in Gulfport. MPB’s Rhonda Miller reports the clinic is a model Memorial Hospital could use in other locations.
Restaurants, hotels and shopping centers crowd Highway 49 just off Interstate-10 in Gulfport. Councilwoman Ella Holmes-Hines says there are lots of doctor’s offices in the area, but very few walk-in clinics. She says it’s not just residents who will benefit from the new Memorial Hospital clinic at Walmart.
"When you have a high tourist area that we have and we have large waiting facilities at both hospitals during summer, this is gonna be a great time to get some of that load off of the emergency rooms," said Holmes-Hines.
Memorial Hospital President and CEO Gary Marchand says there’s a shortage of primary care physicians across the country.
"The issue with states like Mississippi, that are largely rural, the physician shortages tend to get greater," Marchand said. If the model is successful in Gulfport, Memorial Hospital has options to expand to other Walmart locations, he said.
Jimmy Dimitriades is one of two family physicians from Memorial Hospital who will supervise the clinic. Dimitriades says he knows from his private practice, patients often have to wait to get in to see the doctor.
"It can take a month or two, for a new patient. For established patients, if they’re sick, we try to get ‘em in within a day or two. And if it’s more of a routine medical problem, it may take a week or two," Demitriades said.
Children have to be at least two years old to be seen at the clinic. The average cost for a visit for issues such as a cold or flu, sore throat or school physical is $70, paid by cash, check or credit card. The clinic will provide insurance forms to be filed by the patient. The clinic will not file insurance claims.
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