FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- Mercy is offering something they never have before: A seasonal flu clinic open as a result of the high number of flu patients.
The clinic is located on 2717 S. 74th Street. It is behind the Mercy Tower across from Mercy Hospital. The hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. It's also open Saturday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., and Sunday between 1-5 p.m.
The temporary clinic will be opened as long as needed throughout flu season. Doctors said they expect it to stay open for the next four to six weeks.
Doctor Sean Baker who practices family medicine with Mercy confirmed the hospital is overloaded with flu patients.
"We want people to have an option and we want to get people cared for who need care," Baker explained.
A woman said she's happy about this after her stepson waited six hours in the emergency room after a workplace accident. She said the wait was long due to patients seeking flu treatment.
"What concerns me most is people that have actual emergencies are having to wait behind people (who) have the flu," Liz Tippit said.
Tippit said she's glad that the seasonal clinic is open.
"I think it will help a lot not only keep the flu contained to a certain area and also let people who have real emergencies get in and be seen a lot faster," Tippit said.
Baker also said it's not too late for people to get flu shots.