The Walk-In Clinic: Advantages and Disadvantages
A walk-In clinic provides regular medical care for well patients as well as immediate care for sick or injured patients. There are many advantages and disadvantages to utilizing this type of treatment.
Advantages to This Health Care Option
These medical facilities offer an excellent choice for minor medical issues that don't require immediate emergency medical assistance. Most often they're open during the evening hours and weekends when regular doctor's offices are closed. So, if a minor issue arises during the late evening hours, you may be able to avoid a huge emergency room bill!
Some families and individuals choose to see the doctors at the walk-in clinic for regular check-ups as well as for minor medical emergencies. The convenience of being able to see the doctor during non-business hours appeals to those who work long hours. Also, the convenience of being able to see the doctor without an appointment is nice for unexpected sick visits or minor emergency situations.
For those without insurance, the reasonable cost for appointments at these facilities is a huge advantage. A typical emergency room visit for any minor condition costs thousands of dollars, while visiting the doctors at a walk-in clinic cost only hundreds of dollars, if that much.
Disadvantages to This Health Care Option
Since no office can determine how many patients will walk in during the evening or weekend hours, waiting times may be unpredictable. Some evening may be incredibly busy with waiting times over an hour per patient, while other evening may be incredibly slow and patients are taken back almost as soon as they arrive! Of course, you're faced with the same issue in the emergency room. For patients who value the lower prices and have a medical situation that doesn't require immediate medical care, the wait may only be a minor inconvenience.
Unless the facility employs the same medical personnel to staff it each night, you'll be seeing a different doctor every time you come. Those who plan to have regular check-up visits will probably want to schedule routine visits with the same doctor if possible. Many times the doctors do work on a set night or have a planned rotation, so it is possible to see the same doctor if you make an appointment. But for those who are visiting because their child is sick or injured, the doctor will probably be new every time. Once again, this will also occur in the emergency room setting as well, so if you have a situation that can be handled through a walk-in clinic in your area, it's definitely better for your budget if you avoid the emergency room!
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