by Sarah Seeley
Amarillo, Texas - Women and children in southeast Amarillo will soon be able to get basic health care without going far.
Jerri Rice is a young mother to three toddlers.
She says taking her kids to the doctor can be a day long event.
A new Northwest Texas Healthcare Center for women and children opens Monday at 34th and Osage.
Rice says the original center near Amarillo Boulevard is too crowded to bring three kids.
"I don't like the boulevard; its awfully busy, its very, very busy," said Rice. "Maybe now with this one it will cut both [the ER and Boulevard center] waiting times."
Mark Miracle was there ten years ago when the Boulevard center opened.
He says the facility is reaching it's maximum and adds that another facility for basic health care was needed to lighten the load.
"That facility grew by 500% every year for the last ten years," he said. " To think that we could see more capacity there is unrealistic."
"Its going to allow us to access to patients faster and get patients in quicker and we'll be able to increase our population [for those that] have needs in that neighborhood and are having difficulty getting access because we have such a full schedule already."
Miracle hopes the new center will help with the burden on ERs with too many unnecessary patients and help save them valuable time.
"You could be expected to wait 4 to 8 hours to get care for a routine cough or cold or earache that can be serviced in 20-40 minutes in a primary care setting," he said.
"With three kids, time is very important, we have very strict schedules we cant miss nap time and it all gets very rough," said Rice.