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The Air Force held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new medical clinic at RAF Croughton on Friday, Nov. 6, 2015. The new facility and equipment cost about $15 million.

Adam L. Mathis/Stars and Stripes

The Air Force held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new medical clinic at RAF Croughton on Friday, Nov. 6, 2015. The new facility and equipment cost about $15 million. Adam L. Mathis/Stars and Stripes (Adam L. Mathis/Stars and Stripes)

The Air Force held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new medical clinic at RAF Croughton on Friday, Nov. 6, 2015. The new facility and equipment cost about $15 million.

Adam L. Mathis/Stars and Stripes

The Air Force held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new medical clinic at RAF Croughton on Friday, Nov. 6, 2015. The new facility and equipment cost about $15 million. Adam L. Mathis/Stars and Stripes (Adam L. Mathis/Stars and Stripes)

This dental treatment room is part of the new medical clinic at RAF Croughton, England, which opened Friday, Nov. 6, 2015. The 18,318-square-foot facility allowed the 422nd Medical Squadron to move out of an antiquated, temporary facility.

Adam L. Mathis/Stars and Stripes

This dental treatment room is part of the new medical clinic at RAF Croughton, England, which opened Friday, Nov. 6, 2015. The 18,318-square-foot facility allowed the 422nd Medical Squadron to move out of an antiquated, temporary facility. Adam L. Mathis/Stars and Stripes (Adam L. Mathis/Stars and Stripes)

Air Force officials cut the ribbon for a new medical clinic at RAF Croughton, England, on Friday, Nov. 6, 2015. The clinic will provide primary, dental and mental health services to the base.

Adam L. Mathis/Stars and Stripes

Air Force officials cut the ribbon for a new medical clinic at RAF Croughton, England, on Friday, Nov. 6, 2015. The clinic will provide primary, dental and mental health services to the base. Adam L. Mathis/Stars and Stripes (Adam L. Mathis/Stars and Stripes)

RAF CROUGHTON, England — After working out of a temporary facility for 20 years, doctors and nurses at RAF Croughton finally have a real medical clinic.

U.S. Air Force officials unveiled the $13 million clinic at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday. It will serve as a home to the 422nd Medical Squadron, which previously worked out of a 1950s-era dormitory that was converted into a temporary medical facility, said Lt. Col. Ingrid Ford, commander of the 422nd.

Air Force officials described the new clinic as more efficient than its predecessor. Capt. Alexandra Catania, a physician’s assistant, said in the old facility officials sometimes had to share blood-pressure monitors and equipment was not evenly distributed throughout exam rooms, causing delays.

The layout of the old facility sometimes forced visitors to take a circuitous route, Ford said. “Patients had to maybe backtrack a little to get their medication before they were able to exit the building.”

The new clinic will continue to provide primary, mental and dental care with two doctors, two dentists, one mental health practitioner and support staff, Ford said.

Patients with medical issues not covered by the clinic will be referred to British hospitals or RAF Lakenheath, she said.

There are also plans to expand the clinic to match base population growth. Croughton currently hosts about 1,350 servicemembers, civilians and dependents, but that number is scheduled to increase as part of the European Infrastructure Consolidation review. Officials plan to move intelligence services for U.S. European Command, U.S. Africa Command and NATO from RAF Molesworth into the Joint Intelligence Analysis Center at Croughton.

A groundbreaking date for the intelligence center has not been set.

The clinic “is the first of many facilities you are going to see coming out of the ground here,” said Richard Fry, branch chief for the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Expansion of the clinic, if it occurs, would involve increasing the number of doctors and support staff rather than adding new services, Ford said.

mathis.adam@stripes.com Twitter: @AMathisStripes

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