Milwaukee Clinic Strives To Stay Alive Nonprofitmaking Clinic finds it inflexible to help disadvantaged residents
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN- With a reduced amount of primary care doctors in the low-income neighborhoods, Milwaukee Immediate Care Center is fighting to remain open for those in need of medical care.
“ Patient visit have dropped to about 7,000 a year from 15,000 three years ago, before basement flooding and a leaky roof prompted the city to shut the clinic for three months,” said its President, Perry Margoles.
First opened in 1986, this north side clinic has dealt with foreclosure filings, delinquent tax claims, building code violations and even the loss of contracts with two major H.M.O’s (health maintenance organizations). The hours also had to be cut consequently having a lower medical staff and a delay on its X-ray equipment.
Trying to avoid closure of the clinic, Margoles has deferred his $100,000 annual salary and hasn’t been paying into the system. Not having that income for a very long time, made him unqualified for health insurance so he had to turn away from Medicare. “I’m not going to go bankrupt to get care I can’t afford,” he said.
“ I’m well aware there are people trying to do the right thing,” said Vermont Senator Bernard Sanders, “and to let these clinics fall by the wayside would be a mistake.”
Sanders, a Vermont