Why are the medical clinics even open in the city, especially downtown? The whole purpose of having a clinic is to let people walk in for services and prevent people from bombarding the emergency room. It doesn’t make much sense to sit in an emergency room for something as minor as a sore throat or a sprained ankle.
But many clinics are open only from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Every time I walk by one in downtown D.C. it always seems empty. Nobody is ever sitting inside that clinic. They should have clinics with more extended hours to accommodate people who work during these hours. But it’s not only the limited hours that are frustrating. Oftentimes, you have to book an appointment well in advance.
I pay for a supplemental health insurance plan and I have Medicare. But it seems like every time I need to see a doctor, I’m forced to visit the emergency room. I’ll find myself sitting there for eight or more hours. I’m there so long I might as well get a paycheck. Supplemental health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid aren’t enough to pay 100% of the emergency services, but they will pay 100% for clinical services. They actually encourage their patients to use clinics instead of the emergency room.
But the thing is that many of these clinics, in my experience, have limited hours and few appointments available for next day service. If I have to see a doctor soon, it’s still faster to go to the emergency room.
And I dislike having to go to the emergency room because it means I can’t go to my job. The clinics should do more to keep people from going to the emergency room. They should have longer hours and more available appointment slots for next day service.