Sometime back we had carried a story about Wal-mart's foray into healthcare. This program took off in 2005 as a pilot project which involved the lease of medical space in a few Wal-Mart stores. Today there are 76 clinics actively functioning at the Wal mart stores across 12 different states.
During the meeting of the 4th Annual World Health Care Congress, Leo Scott, the President and CEO of Wal-Mart announced the company's plan regarding healthcare. In the next five to seven years Wal-Mart intends to open a total of 2,000 health clinics within their stores.
Wal-Mart's envisions a day when health services could be affordable to the public along with the benefits of generic drugs. Not to be dismissed as mere rhetoric, Scott elaborated on the goals saying, 'We think the clinics will be a great opportunity for our business. But most importantly, they are going to provide something our customers and communities desperately need -- affordable access at the local level to quality health care. The fact is the time for politics in today's debate on health care is long past. The time for real and meaningful change has come.'
The envisaged health clinics will be housed within leased spaces of Wal- mart stores. The clinics will be managed by the local, regional hospitals or by independent organizations.
Feedback from the public has been solicited in the form of surveys regarding the health clinics in operation since 2005. What came out of the survey was that more than half the visitors did not possess any medical insurance.