9 Family: Facility will bring convenient health care to Intercession City area



OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - A new permanent health care facility is being set up in Intercession City. It will be the first clinic of its type in the area.

Trips to the doctor are a lot easier for Donna Whiting these days. Before a temporary clinic opened near her the closest clinic was 15-20 miles away.

She said it wasn't just a long distance from her, it was an expensive trip.

"If I couldn't come up with the money to go to a regular physician I would have to put it off for another month or two months," said Whiting, who has no health insurance.

The temporary clinic opened three month ago and has seen nearly 400 patients, 92 percent of whom are uninsured.

Officials said the limited space is limiting patient care, so the county is expanding it in October.

It's just one solution outlined by Osceola county officials after a recent survey showed there aren't enough doctors for residents in the county.

Right now there are more than 2,200 patients for every doctor in Osceola County that's 35 percent higher than the state average.

"There are plenty that make the choices of what they have to spend money on whether it's their electric, their food or a doctor," said Osceola County Commissioner Michael Harford.

The new health clinic will be in the same shopping complex as the temporary one. It will be four times the size of the temporary facility, which will allow the county to quadruple the number of patients seen in the area.

The bigger space will also allow for more services like laboratory work and dental X-rays, which Donna Whiting said she can't wait to use soon.

"Without this (facility), we don't know where we would be," said Whiting.

A $900,000 federal grant will help officials get the clinic up and running by October. The new facility is expected to serve about 40 patients a day.