San Francisco has a population of over 864,000 in just 46.9 square miles of land, making it the most densely populated city in California. However, the city boasts just 15 urgent care centers and walk-in clinics with another 9 clinics within the surrounding 20 miles in areas like
South San Francisco
The citizens of San Francisco visit urgent care facilities when they need help treating an immediate issue that may not be considered an emergency. Some common symptoms that can be treated in an urgent care or walk-in clinic include:
- Cold and flu symptoms
- Minor trauma, such as a shallow cut or sprain
- Ear pain
- Persistent diarrhea
However, only about a quarter of the urgent care centers in the San Francisco area are open seven days a week, and only 6 percent provide pediatric care.
This can lead to long wait times and inconveniences that could further affect your health. According to the
San Francisco Health Improvement Partnership
, about 10.4 percent of people reported having delayed help or not receiving the medical care they desired.
At PlushCare, we provide 24/7 care for a wide range of common health conditions from some of the best doctors in the area with a simple phone call, helping you stay healthy without any of the hurdles.
At PlushCare, our doctors have been trained at some of the top medical institutions in the country, including Standford, UCLA, and UCSF, ensuring that you don’t have to sacrifice quality and credibility for convenience. Our doctors can provide diagnosis, treatments, and prescriptions for your health conditions through three simple steps:
Book an appointment online
or call us at (888) 8618280?.
- Answer a call at your appointment time.
- During your call, your doctor will diagnose you, offer treatment, and prescribe medication if necessary.
With the reduction in primary care physicians, booking medical appointments has become much more difficult. Fortunately, more physicians have established walk-in clinics and urgent care centers. These services allow patients to seek diagnosis and treatment for injuries, illnesses, and other conditions that don’t require emergency care. Even better, urgent care facilities are a viable solution for patients that do not currently have or can’t afford health care.
According to the
U.S. Census Bureau
, about 7.8 percent of citizens living in the San Francisco metro area were not covered by health insurance in 2014, causing them to turn to walk-in clinics and urgent care facilities to seek affordable treatment.
San Francisco Health Improvement Partnership
also found that about 8.2 percent of disabled adults in the area are uninsured. This includes those with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities. While Healthy San Francisco, the city’s affordable health program, attempts to provide easy access to health care for all of the city’s uninsured residents, including veterans, students, and the homeless, it still sees a significant problem in being able to reach everyone.
San Francisco Urgent Care Wait Times
The combination of San Francisco’s many health insurance issues and the sheer density of the city —averaging about 18,451 people per square mile—results in long wait times and general congestion, which can cause frustrations and add further complications to existing health issues.
Wait times at urgent care centers and walk-in clinics are generally lower than those at an emergency room, but they can still be hard to predict.
Based on the variety of services provided at urgent care and walk-in clinics, the average wait time can be volatile and hard to gauge. If you’re dealing with a fever, sprain, or other health issue, you can expect everyone else in the waiting room to be dealing with similar illnesses or injuries, but others may be dealing with more severe problems.
The variation is what makes the wait times so unpredictable. Sometimes, the staff may be forced to triage or prioritize certain patients based on the severity of their illness or injury. Urgent care centers do not run on a first come, first serve basis. If the next person walks in with a more serious problem, they will likely be treated before you.
Wait times are also affected by how busy each individual facility is. San Francisco is a busy city in general, but you are likely to see more people in waiting rooms after 5:00 PM and on weekends as so many people work regular full-time jobs.
Seasonal busy times are also common. Fall can be busy with kids going back to school, while the cold, wet winters can also lead to a greater chance of illness. In San Francisco, common
seasonal illnesses and outbreaks
include measles, enterovirus (a virus that causes respiratory illness and symptoms similar to cold and flu), seasonal influenza, and viral gastroenteritis. Summers can give way to other accidental injuries and heat stroke as kids are out of school and people spend more time outdoors.
The time you wait to see a physician at an urgent care clinic is influenced by a wide range of factors that aren’t necessarily in your control, but you can expect to wait about 15 minutes to over an hour.
Long wait times are definitely a frustrating inconvenience, but they can also put you at risk of healthcare associated infections, or HAIs, which are infections that you can develop while getting treated for an entirely different condition. For example, imagine you have the flu. If you go to the urgent care facility to have your flu treated, you might find yourself waiting in a room for over an hour with other patients who have colds. As your immune system is already compromised, you may end up contracting a cold, which only adds further pressure to your health.
Spending over an hour in a room with patients who have the cold, it’s easy to see how you might end up contracting a cold. No one enjoys leaving a clinic sicker than when they entered, but healthcare-associated infections are more common than you think.
Why Choose PlushCare?
PlushCare eliminates these hassles and annoyances by allowing you to consult a doctor for diagnosis and treatment in the comfort of your home.
If you don’t have insurance, don’t fret. PlushCare offers affordable co-pays for those who don’t have health care.
If you want to remove and doubts or just feel more comfortable speaking to a doctor in person, we can send one of our physicians straight to your home for a fee of just $250. Maintaining your health and getting great urgent care in San Francisco is just that simple. To learn more, take a look at our
Urgent Care FAQs