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A New Healthcare Provider Comes To Town

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Aired 1/25/11

A new for-profit national chain of urgent care clinics is testing the waters in San Diego. The first clinic opened in Santee, and another will soon come to Oceanside.

— A new for-profit national chain of urgent care clinics is testing the waters in San Diego. The first clinic opened in Santee, and another one will soon come to Oceanside.

The Doctors Express urgent care clinic is designed to be a one-stop shop. It has its own pharmacy, lab, and digital x-ray equipment. And unlike most retail clinics, there's always at least one physician on duty.

Paul Arvanitis owns the franchise in Santee. He said his clinic isn't competing with primary care doctors. It's a complement to them.

"We can be available for primary care physicians when they are not available," Arvanitis said. "After hours, during times of vacations, or when the physician is not able to see the patient for whatever reason, we could be here to help."

Arvanitis said his clinic can treat sore throats, lacerations, even broken bones. He says it's an alternative to a hospital emergency room for non life-threatening conditions.

The average patient wait time in the Santee clinic is 20 minutes. Doctors Express accepts most insurance plans, and offers a cash discount. People who can't afford to pay are referred to community clinics.

There are 26 Doctors Express clinics nationwide.

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