Cumberland County patients dependent on inexpensive basic healthcare will soon be deprived of services that have been available for more than 25 years.
County Commissioners are closing the county’s Adult Health Clinic and Dental Clinic, located at 1235 Ramsey Street. Services are being discontinued because of budget cuts. These clinics are typically utilized by uninsured, low-income residents who receive treatment for as little as $10 a visit.
“In many ways, the health department is a safety net for people who can’t get care or services elsewhere,” said Public Health Director Buck Wilson. “The people who are getting primary care or cancer screenings here may not be able to get it anywhere else,” he added. A county spokesperson said, “Patients will need to find another physician or medical practice.” Wilson resigned effective July 7. He didn’t give a reason.
The care typically provided at the county health center includes diabetes management with hemoglobin A1C point-of-care testing; PSA for prostate health; care of hepatitis C to include genotype if needed; asthma management to include breathing treatment; and pap smears and breast exams, in accordance with American College of Gynecology recommendations. Lab services provided include monitoring and managing diabetes, hypertension, HIV and blood clotting disorders, as well as labs for seizure disorders. These are just some of the healthcare services hundreds of patients will likely do without.
State law requires that the county give patients 30-days-notice that the clinic is being closed. Consequently, the county must continue to provide care to current patients through July 20. The dental clinic will discontinue services July 1. Patients who have appointments will be seen through July 20. Longtime County Commissioner Jeanette Council, who serves on the Board of Health and has advocated for the agency, was among the slim majority that voted to adopt the budget that cut the funding.