Urgent Care Clinics Seeing More Patients Due to Hospital Closures
ST. CLAIRSVILLE – A local urgent care clinic is seeing an uptick in patients since the closure of Ohio Valley Medical Center in Wheeling and more recently East Ohio Regional Hospital in Martins Ferry.
Scott McGarry, manager of Doctor’s Urgent Care of St. Clairsville, said both his St. Clairsville and Wheeling locations have seen an increase in patients.
“Yes, we definitely have,” McGarry said.
He noted the new patients are looking not only for more urgent care, but primary care as well.
“To be honest, it’s been an influx of both. People are looking for a new primary doctor and there have been a lot of acute illnesses and injuries that have come up. People are looking for a place to land when they can’t get into the emergency room,” he said.
“We can handle everything from cuts, scrapes and abrasions to broken bones. We have a full X-ray and lab. We have a full treatment area and can treat acute injuries.”
McGarry said the flow of patients is steady throughout the day, though mornings tend to be busier. If a patient ends up needing more care than it can offer, the clinic uses Cumberland Trail Fire District’s ambulance service to transport patients to an emergency room.
“It varies from day to day. … Our providers get them through pretty quick,” he said.
McGarry said the patient chooses which ER to be transported to.
He noted the clinic also takes appointments for non-urgent issues. As walk-in clinics, both the St. Clairsville and Wheeling locations are open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, while the Wheeling site is also open from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays and Sundays.
Meanwhile, Ellen Dietrick, manager for external communications for MedExpress Administrative Offices, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, said its patient numbers at the Wheeling MedExpress have remained steady since OVMC’s closure.
“However, we have three centers in the Wheeling area, and we hope that Ohio Valley Medical Center patients and employees know that we are fully prepared and ready to care for families and employees impacted by the hospital’s recent closure. As always, MedExpress is open every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. — no appointment necessary,” she said.