EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) — It’s another side effect of Covid-19: hospitals treating an increasing number of patients with the virus. Some local healthcare workers are concerned that some non-coronavirus patients are avoiding important appointments and surgeries out of fear of contracting the virus at the hospital. University Medical Center has a plan to help.
UMC is opening a new facility in west El Paso. The ‘Surgical Center West’ facility is intended for elective procedures and surgeries that are not related to Covid-19. Patients with coronavirus will not be treated or seen in the building.
“This will allow us a separate location where they can get that surgery in a safe environment where they are secure,” said Ryan Mielke, UMC’s director of public affairs. “There are no Covid-19 patients here.”
The building, located at 4642 N. Mesa Street, has 18 inpatient beds, 6 treatment rooms, a lab, a pharmaceutical area and more.
UMC bought the 24,000 square-foot building for more than $9 million.
The facility has started scheduling procedures and appointments, but you’ll need a referral to book one.
The facility will focus initially on digestive health procedures and will ultimately expand into other areas.
Mielke says the main hospital still has many beds available for patients with and without the virus, but this facility will help improve the separation between them.
"Currently at the main hospital we are treating Covid-19 patients,” he said. “Some of those patients are on floors that used to have elective surgeries. This new facility will allow us to move those surgeries, that otherwise would have taken place at the hospital, into our community."