UNC Healthcare Offers Free Virtual Urgent Care Service During Storm

Sep 13, 2018

File photo of a patient and a doctor meeting over a web connection.
Credit Cisco Systems

Dealing with a sick child or a minor ailment can be especially tough while waiting out a storm. UNC Healthcare has a solution for anyone in North Carolina who needs to consult a doctor for minor issues as Hurricane Florence hits the state.

The healthcare provider is waiving the fee for its virtual urgent care service from noon Friday until midnight Sunday so people can receive medical care without leaving their home or shelter.

You can access the UNC Urgent Care 24/7 service via an app or toll free number, to have a phone conversation with a doctor -- or even a video chat if you have a strong enough internet connection. A physician will talk to you about your signs and symptoms and give medical advice. The doctor can even fax or email a prescription.

“It's almost like having a face to face visit in a doctor's office, but it's just virtual,” said UNC Healthcare spokesman Alan Wolf.

Anyone physically located in North Carolina may use the service for non-emergency situations, like a fever, nausea, pink eye, vomiting and more. Anyone needing emergency care, including for chest pain or serious injuries should seek medical care in person.

Wolf says the service is intended for those who cannot access an urgent care facility during the storm. It can also help keep those with minor ailments from heading to hospitals that may be busy treating storm-related injuries.

“We wanted to make sure people had an accessible, affordable easy option that would be an alternative to the emergency department,” Wolf said.

UNC Healthcare launched the service earlier this year. It typically costs patients up to $50 depending on their health insurance coverage, but will be free this weekend.

To access the UNC Urgent Care 24/7 service, visit the website, download the app or call toll free at 1-888-909-9681.