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Aransas Pass faces healthcare shortage after Harvey

Posted at 5:43 PM, Apr 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-23 10:01:04-04

Hurricane Harvey destroyed many businesses and buildings in Aransas Pass, including the Care Regional Medical Center and the Medical Arts Clinic. The two healthcare facilities were widely used throughout San Patricio County, but now their patients are traveling elsewhere to seek medical treatment. For patients and doctors alike, that has caused some challenges.

For Susan Oehler, an Aransas Pass resident, the drive and the wait time are two concerns.

"I’ve got prescriptions over there, and I’m over here seeing the doctors so I’m running back and forth," Oehler said.

Oehler says before Harvey, her drive to see the doctor was just under 10 minutes. Now her doctor’s office is in Portland, taking her almost 30 minutes to drive to. She adds, because of her disability, it’s a trip she makes often.

"Being able to get to a facility easily makes a huge difference," Oehler said. "Especially when you’ve already got something you’ve got to overcome and take into account."

Her old doctor’s office was at The Medical Arts Clinic in Aransas Pass, which was considered one of the largest in San Patricio County. However after Harvey, many patients were left scrambling for medical care, which has caused overcrowding in other facilities around the area.

Dr. James Mobley, the President of the Medical Arts Clinic, says he’s seen the impact this has had at his facility. There have been long wait times at his clinic, and others in the area.

"All our rooms are full," Dr. Mobley said. "We’ve been pretty crowded, our parking lot is over-crowded."

Although many doctors and specialists have relocated after Harvey, Dr. Mobley says it’s especially important to get healthcare resources back in Aransas Pass, but it will take time.

"We’re expecting, if we can’t put some more capability over there, to have increased rates of heart attack, diabetes, hyper-tension, these kinds of things overtime," Dr. Mobley said.?

Dr. Mobley adds the Medical Arts Clinic in Aransas Pass will not reopen.