Philadelphia needs another public health center…or four

Here’s another symptom of the tough economy — long wait times at public health clinics. That’s the situation in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Donald Schwarz says adults looking for appointments at the city’s public health clinics are waiting longer.  He says there’s enough demand that new ones should be built.

“The first look at need that was taken, suggests that we may actually need as many as four (new) health centers in the Northeast,” said Schwarz.  “So what is happening demographically in the Northeast, particularly during the recession is that people are losing insurance and people are moving in without insurance.”

Schwarz says Philadelphia is working with the federal government to come up with innovative ways to fund a new health center.

“I don’t know that the city is going to have the resources to support a new health center but through federal qualification we may be able to leverage some dollars to do that,” he said.

It’s possible Philadelphia will bring in a private health provider to open a new center.

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