Retail Doctors and the Assault on Healthcare

Sore throat and feeling not so hot on this rainy Amsterdam morning. And before I begin my work chores, I wanted to rap about an issue that concerns me, thus far effecting the US and I believe the UK: Retail Clinics!

Never heard of them? Luck you, I’d say. Maybe you use them all the time? I’d love to hear some testimony. It was recently brought to my attention in the Financial Times and the Philly Inquirer that there’s a new trend in healthcare – sticking a quickie clinic in the back of department stores and whore whole sale clubs. Basically while you go in to buy toothpaste, potato chips, and some batteries… you can also go in the back and visit Dr. K-Mart who will diagnose you and send you on your way in 15 minutes. Wham-Bam-Thankyou’mam. And back you go to finish your shopping, maybe pick up some ice cream on your way to the check-out.

Not that I fear progress, mind you. I thought the emergence of drive-thru insurance was exciting! I love the I-pod, though I can’t afford one. But retail doctors? Is there a shortage of doctors and are doctors offices so bad that THIS is a good thing for people? Will these quickiemart MD’s really care about their patients? Does anyone in these stores actually give a shit about their customers?

Personally I hope they fail miserably. It is insulting the way these retail stores think the answer to the lack of social services and access to health care is that it simply be fit into a corner of their store, next to the pretzel vender and the 1-hour photo.

And now Im sure someone who loves minuteclinic will comment and condemn my questioning….