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MARINE CORPS AIR STATION FUTENMA, Okinawa — Despite opening its doors to family members about six months ago, the medical clinic here still has plenty of room.

Clinic enrollment was at 49 percent of capacity at the end of July, leaving plenty of appointments available for family members, according to Cmdr. Terry Stevenson, officer in charge of the clinic.

“We’re more accessible than any other clinic,” he said.

The Naval Hospital Family Practice Clinic and Camp Foster’s Evans Branch Clinic are at 83 percent of capacity, Stevenson said, while the Camp Kinser clinic is at 76 percent and Bush clinic on Camp Courtney is at 62 percent. The low enrollment rate at the Futenma clinic means same-day appointments with the two family physicians and one physician assistant typically are available, decreasing waiting time for treatment, Stevenson said.

Evans Clinic is so busy it’s not accepting new patients and the hospital’s clinic is accepting only patients who live on Camp Lester and family members of hospital staff, according to Stevenson.

Many patients choose to receive care at the hospital clinic simply because it’s a hospital, he said, but patients actually receive the same treatment as at branch clinics, which offer everything from laboratory services to X-rays, immunizations and minor outpatient surgeries.

Stevenson said whatever clinic patients go to, if specialty care is needed, they’ll be referred to the appropriate clinic at the hospital.

“People perceive that they’ll get better care there,” he said. “Whether it’s Bush, Kinser or us … you’re not going to get any less quality of care.” Many of the doctors in the hospital also work at a branch clinic at some point, he said. For example, Stevenson was the department head for Family Practice at the hospital until he was transferred to the Futenma Clinic.

He also said that driving to the Futenma Clinic from camp Foster takes just minutes longer than driving to the clinic at Camp Lester.

Call DSN 636-2911/3877 for more information on the Futenma clinic or to make an appointment. To switch care to the clinic, fill out the paperwork at the TRICARE office at the hospital on Camp Lester, clinic officials said.

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