Changes On The Way to Winkler County Memorial Hospital

Changes On The Way to Winkler County Memorial Hospital

by: Justin Kree

NewsWest 9

KERMIT-  Changes are coming to the Winkler County Memorial Hospital in Kermit.

The first change to take place will be an extra step to the admission process. When you enter the emergency room, a doctor will determine if you are experiencing a true emergency or not.

"More and more patients are tending to use it as a clinic rather than a true emergency room. We're here to take care of the people of Winkler County and anybody else that needs our help. That's our purpose and we'll continue to do it. If people are deemed as not emergency, we want to make some sort of financial arrangements. It's a necessity, we're one of those few hospitals that have not implemented this" Winkler County Memorial Hospital Administrator, John Clark, said.

Clark said Winkler County Memorial Hospital has seen an increase of patients from other counties coming to the hospital to get cured, hoping they won't have to pay.

That's cost the hospital over a million dollars in the last year alone.  

Officials say the newer state of the art facility is more appealing and drawing in patients rather than going to the outdated clinic instead. 

"We do great service at our clinic now. But it's in a small, cramped quarters. It's noisy, you can hear people walking down the hall. It's what you would picture a clinic back in the 60's would be. We have a beautiful hospital. It's a well equipped hospital, a well staffed hospital. Now, we need the clinic brought up to the same level the hospital is," Clark said. 

The new clinic will be about 7,000 square feet with the latest technology and more windows to allow more natural sunlight. Clark says appearance is everything and by the fall of 2015, the new building will be the place to go when you get sick.

"It's designed to see more patients and be a better service for the community," Clark said.