Health clinics across Arkansas in jeopardy of closing their doors

Health clinics across Arkansas in jeopardy of closing their doors

If congress doesn't agree upon a new federal budget, we could see 120 health care facilities in the natural state close their doors.

Executive Director of Mid Delta Health Systems Al Sliger, couldn't imagine doing anything else for a living.

"When you get involved in it, and when you're doing it, very few people leave," Sliger said.

But he and his colleagues say nonprofit health care clinics like his in clarendon, Arkansas are in jeopardy, because right now, there's no guarantee the thousands of facilities in the u-s, will get federal funding.

"We receive about 40 to 50 percent of our funding on the norm from the federal government,” said Sliger. "Our funding base has to come up and it's due to expire this week."

And if it expires, there wouldn't be much time left for many of the facilities in the rural areas of the state.

"It could be 30 to 60 days before we have, something of that nature that we would be forced to make decisions as to what sights that we're going to have to close just to be able to have some presence," Sliger said.

And that could be affect many of the 195,000 people that take advantage of these clinics.

"So, if we weren't there, that would mean someone in Brinkley or Clarendon, Arkansas, they're traveling an hour and a half to get in to Little Rock just to be able to get access to services," Sliger said.

So far, both of Arkansas' senators have signed on to support the refunding, but it's now up to the rest of congress to make sure these facilities keep their doors open.

"It's just imperative that the health centers remain funded just so we can continue staying in operation," Sliger said.

Of those 195,000 that use these health care facilities, about 60 percent live below the poverty line.

Follow Nick Popham on Twitter at @KATVPopham.

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