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Criticism of walk-in clinics rising.

CRITICISM OF WALK-IN CLINICS RISING. The concept was great: hospital emergency rooms were noisy, understaffed and overcrowded; the doctor's office required an appointment and expensive fees. The walk-in promised the advantages of both without any disadvantages...except problems are mounting in the views of critics.

Some of the more serious inadequacies reported include unlicensed staff members, sometimes consisting of personnel who have been involved in fraud. Many are nonphysicians posing as doctors and now fugitive from other states.

Some of the walk-in clinics take on cases for which they are not equipped. The burden of diagnosis is often shifted to the patient because the clinic does not have proper equipment.

The matter of rushing patients through a supermarket setting can also be unnerving as management tries to unload tests and procedures not particularly necessary to the ailment.

In most states, walk-in clinics are not licensed becaused they are regarded merely as oversized doctors' offices and thus operate under the umbrella of a doctor's license, not that of the facility.

Patients can exercise prudence by inquiring about doctors' certification and qualification. Accreditation is available to a clinic, and the more responsible facilities can be checked out by calling Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care at (708) 676-9610.
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Title Annotation:Postscripts...
Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Jan 1, 1992
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