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The last thing you want to do when feeling terribly ill or are injured is to sit in a waiting room trying to ignore the pain. Unfortunately, hospitals are extremely busy places that can’t always offer the care everyone needs in a timely fashion.

In order to help those in need, walk in health clinics have begun to pop up that work to greatly shorten the wait time for patients. These urgent care facilities can offer virtually all the same care as an emergency room would, but at a fraction of the weight.

An estimated 60% of urgent care centers have wait times of less than 15 minutes to see the on call physician or at least the mid-level provider who is more than capable of helping you. About 65% of these walk in health clinics even have a physician on at all times. You could end up waiting up to four times longer to see a physician at an Emergency room than at a free health clinic.

Just from 2003 to 2009, the average wait time in a United States Emergency Department (ED) increased by as much as 25%. You could expect to wait anywhere from 46.5 minutes to 58.1 minutes before receiving any treatment.

In another effort to make medical walk in clinics even more accessible to those in need, urgent cares cost a fraction of the money that the average trip to the emergency room would. The typical expense for people who visited an emergency room more than once in 2009 amounted to around $1,318, according to the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). Free walk in clinics on the other hand would cost an average of $615 for the same treatment.

While the health care system continues to evolve to suit the needs of the public, you can rest easy knowing that walk in health clinics are actively trying to offer people reliable and affordable care. Shouldn’t everyone have a right to be safe and healthy?