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December 19, 2012

Doctor restarts $40-per-visit walk-in clinic

By Richard Whitby
The Daily Star

---- — A walk-in clinic operated by Dr. Joan Bachorik in Oneonta has restarted after a two-year hiatus.

“I think it’s a service, to provide a service that’s affordable for many people in a simple, approachable format to get immediate health care,” Bachorik said. “I’m not looking to make this into a profitable business any more. I did that already.”

Bachorik, who practices internal medicine, began seeing patients again Monday. Her office at 37 Dietz St.* is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, as well as from 1 to 5 p.m. Fridays. She charges $40 per visit, and no appointment is necessary.

“Between malpractice (insurance) and so forth, it has to covers costs,” she said. “That why the charge is there at all. As long as it does that, I’m very willing to continue on to offer my services on a part-time basis.”

“I don’t turn anybody away,” she added. “As a matter of fact, I’ve handed back to people payments when I realized they didn’t really have it — and it makes me feel better to help them.”

Others have noticed.

“I was astounded the distance people drove (for) the last clinic,” Bachorik said. “It was just incredible. They came from Albany, they came from Cobleskill, Richfield Springs.”

She also has received donations from complete strangers in Nevada and New Jersey, she said.

And lest anyone think such a clinic would produce little beyond standard aches, pains and infections, Bachorik said she sees an interesting array of cases.

“A lot of people had acute medical problems or they wanted a second opinion or they wanted something explained to them or they wanted advice,” she said.

“Some very unique, challenging cases (have come) to me amongst the routine visits, so I think that’s part of the thrill that I get our of it,” she added. “I have had some very complicated, rare cases of parasitic problems ... that are not commonly seen here.”

“There’s also the split between people who can afford whatever they want for medicine, who come in for your thoughts, but then there’s the other half of people, who don’t have any place to go and can barely afford anything,” she said.

*Editor's note: This story was changed at 10:45 a.m. Dec. 19 to add the location of Bachorik's office.