Riverpark opens new after-hours clinic

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 30, 2005

VIDALIA &8212; Like many new businesses, this one was thrilled to have eight customers on its first day.

For Dr. Ibrahim Seki,

it was a little validation for the new after-hours clinic at Riverpark Medical Center. Seki, an internal medicine specialist who worked in the emergency room at Natchez Regional Medical Center the last seven years, moved his practice across the Mississippi River two weeks ago to start the clinic.

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Now he&8217;s running the after-hours clinic, an urgent-care facility that operates from 3 to 11 p.m. Saturday through Wednesday. Anyone can come during those hours to get medical treatment. The clinic has been seeing between 10 and 15 patients daily, a number Seki said he expects to climb as word gets out.

The purpose of the clinic is simple &8212; to give people with non-emergency medical problems a place to go after normal doctor&8217;s office hours. And more than that, a place where an appointment isn&8217;t needed &8212; or even accepted &8212; and treatment can be received at a reasonable price in a reasonable amount of time, Seki said.

&8220;The emergency room is bombarded with people who don&8217;t necessarily have an emergency condition,&8221; Seki said. &8220;At the ER, you&8217;re not a priority if you aren&8217;t critically ill. If they have something major come in, you&8217;re going to get bumped.&8221;

The other advantage the clinic has over an ER visit is the cost, Seki said.

&8220;This will be cost-effective. You can charge as if it&8217;s an ER visit or an office visit. I charge as if it&8217;s an office visit,&8221; Seki said. &8220;That&8217;s a lot less expensive than an emergency room, where you get a bill from the doctor and one from the hospital for the use of the facilities.&8221;

The clinic is not equipped to handle emergencies &8212;heart attacks, strokes, compound fractures or any major trauma &8212; but just about anything else is within Seki&8217;s range, he said.

&8220;We&8217;re ready to see patients of any age, from cradle to grave, as they say,&8221; Seki said. &8220;We welcome them with any problem they have.&8221;

Some of those problems might include coughs, flu, fractured bones, problems in need of blood testing, preventive medicine &8212; including some cancer screening and pap smears &8212; and testing for sexually transmitted disease.

The clinic can do lab testing and X-rays and CAT scans, which are done at the Diagnostic Imaging Center at Riverpark. Patients who need more specialized testing can be referred on, Seki said.

The clinic accepts all types of insurance, including Medicaid from Louisiana and Mississippi, and Seki said payment plans can be made for indigent patients.

The clinic work isn&8217;t what he was used to in the ER at Natchez Regional, but Seki said he&8217;s happy.

&8220;I love it,&8221; Seki said. &8220;It&8217;s a step down for me in terms of activity, but it&8217;s nice to see different things and have patients who are in stable, if possibly serious, condition.&8221;