SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – More Urgent Care centers are establishing themselves around Western Massachusetts, and private equity firms are investing their money in what they say is the fastest growing part of American health care.
Long waits at the emergency room are driving patients out of different hospitals and into more urgent care centers.
Ellie Carpenter of Greenfield told 22News, “It’s tough when you have to get there because you need the emergency room, that’s what it’s for, it’s for an emergency.”
Some local residents say that regardless of how busy the emergency room is, they have sat for hours before a nurse calls their name.
“It was like three hours, and there was nobody there,” says Marina Andriyevskaya from Chicopee.
More patients say they’re willing to try out these centers.
“If it’s the same outcome, if they do the same things then yeah because it’s just a quicker process,” says Andriyevskaya.
The 14.5 billion dollar industry is cashing in on overcrowded emergency rooms. But in some parts of western Massachusetts, residents say that they’re perfectly happy with local hospitals.
“In Greenfield we have Franklin Medical Center and it’s a small hospital and it’s actually pretty good,” says John Carpenter from Greenfield. “At the most, maybe 15 minutes, 20 minutes, half an hour wait.”
As the word spreads, so are new clinics throughout the country. Before you visit one of these clinics, you will want to check your insurance policy to make sure that you are covered.