SHERMAN, TX-After a year of planning, Grayson County Commissioners gave the green light to build the county's first primary-urgent care clinic. Thursday, county officials tell us why they need the facility.
Grayson County Health Department Director, John Teel said more than 30,000 Grayson county residents are uninsured. That's why they go to area E.R.'s just to see a doctor, which leads to overcrowding. But in just a few months, he said the new clinic will change that.
Teel has worked for more than a year to create a primary-urgent care clinic for the county.
"thirty-thousand don't have health insurance and about a fourth don't have health insurance. It's difficult for those women, men and children to find a provider just for basic sick care," he said.
And it would help more than just the uninsured.
"The two emergency departments frequently get overcrowded especially now in the flu season. I think it would really help both hospitals to cut down on the emergency department use for non emergencies," Teel said.
Just a day after Christmas, Grayson County Commissioners voted unanimously to fund the Grayson County Primary-Urgent Care Clinic, which Precinct 2 Commissioner, David Whitlock, said will be an asset to the community.
"If you're in an emergency situation and you need to be seen, this way you don't have to wait as long because the people who have minor problems will be sent to our county clinic," he said.
"A primary care clinic is literally that. It's going to a doctor when you're sick. Whether you have a chronic disease like diabetes, COPD or heart disease or whether if you're a healthy man, woman or child and you have an infection," said Teel.
Whitlock said the county is required by law to spend eight percent of their annual budget on indigent health, which is about $2 million. He said the clinic will actually save them money.
"I believe it's gonna cost about $1.4 million to run a facility like this and the hospitals are both gonna put money into it. I understand about $300,000 a piece," he said.
Teel said the clinic will be on Gallagher, right next to the TCOG building. They plan to start construction in March.
"We think it's gonna give the uninsured in our county have a medical home, let them have a medical home. I think it will also help our medicaid families and be their medical home if they can't find a local, Grayson county practitioner," he said.
Teel said the Grayson County Primary-Urgent Care Clinic will be staffed with 12 medical professionals: One family doctor, one radiologist and two shifts of nurses. The clinic will be open eleven hours a day, seven days a week. He said they are expecting to open the clinic by August.