North Augusta, SC (WJBF)- Starting Tuesday morning, patients who need emergency care can find it in North Augusta.

Before now, people in outer Aiken and Edgefield Counties had to go to Aiken or Augusta for emergency medical care. Now they don’t have to go as far to get help.

The new freestanding ER at Sweetwater, located on Austin Graybill Road, gives those people a closer option.

“Well it will provide medical care closer to home. This facility will be a full service emergency room so patients won’t have to travel, it will be more convenient, and I think it is a piece of mind knowing you’ve got an emergency facility open 24 hours, 7 days a week,” said Jim O’Loughlin, CEO at Aiken Regional Medical Center.

Owned by Aiken Regional Hospital, it’ll provide the same level of care as their ER. That means patients can receive treatment for something as minor as scrapes and sprains, all the way to chest pains and symptoms of stroke.

“It differs quite a bit from an urgent care. Often times urgent cares are open limited hours, and are often either staffed by family practice physicians or sometimes extenders. This is actually an emergency room with the same equipment and technology that will be staffed by board certified emergency room physicians,” Dr. O’Loughlin explained.

Patients can begin receiving treatment at the new facility starting at 8 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Photojournalist: Gary Hipps.