What's next for UMC multi-million dollar expansion project

What's next for UMC multi-million dollar expansion project
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 9:22pm

After 7 hours of discussion and public comments, county commissioners awarded University Medical Center a $152 million bond to expand medical facilities for the uninsured in El Paso.

Private doctors aren't thrilled about the decision because they say the bond will mean higher taxes and medical costs for the rest of us.

Now that the measure passed though, UMC will spend the next 10 months designing the three facilities. The new clinics will be about 50,000 square feet each. 

The medical center will build one clinic in Canutillo, another in Central El Paso near the medical school, and a third clinic on the far Eastside near Socorro. UMC will expand their existing Northeast El Paso clinic and add an emergency department there.

UMC expects its new facilities to create 450 new jobs, and provide healthcare to the almost 250,000 El Pasoans who are uninsured.

One private doctor we spoke with, who was opposed to this UMC project, said now that the measure passed, he'd like to be included in the process and provide input in how to make it most effective.

"Now, at this point, we look forward to working with Texas Tech, as well as UMC to develop strategies that will work for El Paso, and find a comfortable solution that will help us all," said family practitioner, Dr. Andres Enriquez.

County Judge, Veronica Escobar has asked UMC to collaborate with private doctors and the medical center will return in the next few months with an update on the collaboration.

UMC will begin construction next year and the new facilities should open in late 2015.

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