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Mercy Clinic Full
Friday, 22 October 2010

October 22--  The Mercy Medical Clinic in Toombs County has been open less than a year trying to provide medical assistance to the poor and unemployed in our area.

Diector Nancy Stanley has learned a lot since the clinic opened.  "I guess I was surprised at the level of indigence.  They have no resources other than food stamps.  I think the general public thinks there is some assistance for folks, but there is none," she says.

The clinic has a full load of 240 regular patients and has a waiting list.  Stanley says they have to make decisions every day about who to treat.  "The other day we had a man call who was in mental distress and right behind that we had a woman with severe diabetes and no medicine.  It's really a difficult choice.  We would like to see everybody but we just can't because our providers are limited so we have to try and make a decision on what is the most life threatening," she says.

Stanley has also learned something else.  Most of the patients the clinic sees would like a job, but most have few qualifications in today's job market.  "It's a lot about the level of intelligence or processing to do the kind of jobs that our culture requires.  They could have worked in the fields or in manufacturing, but those jobs aren't there now," she notes.

Stanley reports the clinic has reduced some of the workload in the emergency room at Meadows Regional Medical Center which last year provided $10 million in indigent medical care.  She also compliments local doctors, dentists and optometrists for helping the clinic with its mission.

"We're just thankful the community has been so supportive and that the doctors and the hospital have been so supportive.  We've got to keep that support to stay in business," she says.

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