SPI hospital plans moving forward

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SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, TX – Conversations continue in South Padre Island about the creation of an Urgent Medical Facility.

Today the city’s EDC approved a proposal for a BKD CPAs & Advisors to conduct research on what services are needed for SPI resident. The study look at what services would be needed in addition to the emergency facility. This in an effort to provide primary care to the destination city beyond urgent care such as determining the need for physicians, optometrists, cardiologist, among others.

Mickey Furcron EDC Chairman says, “A couple of months ago we approved to do a study to see if there was a need for a hospital. That feasibility study showed that yes there is. Now we’re looking at the next step. Which would be to survey residents and others.”

According to the movement’s main supporter, Dr. Richard Joe Ybarra, the goal is to create a centralized location for medical care. Ideally, they are proposing two facilities: An urgent care facility and another focused on primary care.

“We know that we need an emergency room and that type of care,” says Ybarra, “but we also need primary care. We don’t need everybody with minor illnesses going to the emergency rooms.”  

Right now, emergency patients are taken to nearby hospitals in Brownsville or Harlingen. The movement is looking to reduce the response time for critical situations.

When asked about the possibility of setting up in Port Isabel, Dr. Ybarra says “We made a decision long ago that we could have done this in Port Isabel, Laguna Vista. Laguna Vista already has a healthcare center. We want to focus on the island.”

And the project is looking to move fast. Dr. Ybarra says that it’s possible that they can begin with a temporary urgent care facility at 3401 Padre Boulevard as early as mid-August. The other site proposed is at the intersection of Retama St and Padre Boulevard across from the fire station.

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