Oviedo says city-funded health care center saves money

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OVIEDO, Fla. —

This week marks two years since Oviedo opened its own health care clinic just for city employees.

It's a step other local leaders have taken in hopes of saving money.

Channel 9's Karla Ray crunched the numbers and found out that taxpayers are getting a good return on their investment.

With just a quick walk from her office at the Oviedo Police Department, Lori Shiery is able to see a doctor while on the clock.

"It's very convenient, not only because we're right in the back lot basically, but it saves me a trip from having to go to a doctor off-site," said Shiery.

The city's CareHere clinic has been open for two years. It allows city employees and their families to see doctors for free.

"The cost and time savings have exceeded our expectations, so we are very pleased with the CareHere clinic on the Oviedo campus," said Oviedo Mayor Dominic Persampiere.

New numbers show over two years, the cost to run the clinic has been just over $827,000, but the total savings to the city has been over $1.7 million.

The mayor said that eventually CareHere clinics within Seminole County will have a share agreement, meaning city of Oviedo employees who happen to live somewhere else, like Sanford, will be able to choose which clinic they want to visit.

Many of the other dozen CareHere clinics in central Florida are new and their total cost benefits are still being calculated.

Persampiere said he believes the savings seen in Oviedo will be reflected in other cities as well.

"The cost-savings really should grow with time," said Persampiere.

The city of Sanford opened its CareHere clinic almost six months ago. Sanford's mayor said he should have a progress report on his desk next month.