No more Urgent Care come June

Letters to the Editor - 2/27/14 edition

February 25, 2014 

Dear Editor,

The Oakhurst Urgent Care Center was recently purchased by Adventist Health. The new owners will be converting the Urgent Care facility into a medical clinic which means our Mountain Area citizens will no longer have an emergency center to rely upon.

What does this mean to our community? It means that those medical emergencies that were once treated locally will now need to be transported to Fresno area hospital emergency rooms. This will involve expensive ambulance transportation averaging $2,500 per trip.

While an ambulance trip to Fresno is probably the furthest thing from your mind, the importance of a family membership to Sierra Ambulance Service should be one of your top priorities. We often times forget that an accident or injury can happen to anyone in your family at any time.

For a small fee of just $65 a year, everyone in your immediate family can be covered.

So how often is an ambulance needed in our Mountain Area? Ten and sometimes even 12 times a day, 365 days per year. The closing of our local Urgent Care Center will increase the demand for ambulance services and many will be caught off guard not realizing a low cost family membership would have saved them thousands of dollars.

We are living in an age where conventional medical insurance programs are lowering and limiting their coverage. Ambulance transport reimbursements have been one of the hardest hit. For most cases these insurance programs will only reimburse a few hundred dollars towards a $2,500 transport fee.

I encourage you to join Sierra Ambulance, your local, non-profit community ambulance and paramedic service. Don't be caught off guard and faced with an ambulance bill you can't afford.

Dennis Fairbanks, chairman, Sierra Ambulance Service

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