City Councilman James Sanders Jr. (D-Laurelton) announced the reopening and renovation of Rapid MD’s immediate medical care facility on Merrick Boulevard in Laurelton.
Sanders, along with the Rapid MD medical team and community health activists, held a press conference on Wednesday to show the state-of-the-art facility to the public.
“This brand new urgent care center is desperately needed in our community, especially in these difficult times,” Sanders said. “It offers a warm, friendly, community-oriented approach to treating urgent-care patients, saving them a trip to the emergency room, and quite possibly saving lives.”
Sanders also commented that the Supreme Court may be about to eviscerate President Obama’s healthcare bill, leaving millions without insurance and with fewer options, making urgent medical care facilities invaluable.
The issue of diminishing healthcare has been prominent in Queens for the last few years with the closing of Peninsula Hospital in Far Rockaway, Parkway Hospital in Forest Hills, St. John’s Hospital in Elmhurst and Mary Immaculate Hospital in Jamaica.
According to the most recent studies done by the American Hospital Association Hospital Statistics, Queens’ hospital bed availability has declined 32.5 percent in the last five years. This study precedes the closing of Peninsula Hospital, which will cause the statistic to drop even further, and create a greater need for emergency medical centers like Rapid MD.
The medical director of Rapid MD, Samuel Okonta, is a board-certified emergency medicine-trained doctor, with over 20 years of emergency medicine experience. Okonta has been chairman and director of the emergency department of several hospitals in New York.
The clinic now provides a professional setting to receive medical services from X-rays and EKGs to flu shots, lab work and immunizations, among many other minor services. The facility also provides annual, sport and employment physicals as well as vaccinations.
The walk-in center requires no appointment and is staffed with medical professionals and technicians certified to provide a broad cross section of urgent-care medical services.
The facility is located at 217-14 Merrick Blvd. and is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Call (718) 712-1428 for more information.