Wal-Mart and…Health Clinics?

 

medical.jpgIt doesn’t seem to me like Wal-Mart and health clinics mix, but Wal-Mart seems to think so.

Wal-Mart says it will open 400 health clinics by 2010.  The clinics offer preventive and routine health services.  There is already 77 clinics in its stores across 12 different states, but 23 of its clinics closed suddenly Jan. 18, 2008.  The operator of the clinics, CheckUps, fell behind on payroll payments and other expenses causing the clinics to close, but Wal-Mart is working to reopen all of those clinics as soon as possible.

It will be interesting to see how Wal-Mart deals with this situation in the future.  I think it would be beneficial for Wal-Mart to do a little research and partner with companies it knows will succeed.

Wal-Mart must have wised up after its 23 clinics closed because it is partnering with various providers now such as SmartCare, St. Vincent Health System and RediClinic.

“Having the local hospital system involved will increase the level of trust among shoppers,” Wal-Mart spokeswoman Deisha Galberth said.

From a PR perspective, building trust among consumers is critical and will determine the success or failure of a company.  I hope Wal-Mart can prove to its customers that it can successfully run its health clinics.

wal-mart-symbol-2.jpg

If Wal-Mart can’t, its reputation will once again be put on the line.  Consumers might be leery to go to its clinics because of Wal-Mart’s past reputation.

Do you remember how recalled toys were still being sold on the shelves in Wal-Mart stores?  How about the fake blog called Wal-Marting Across America?

I wonder how Wal-Mart’s clinics will affect the health care industry?

I came across an interesting article about the 20 ways Wal-Mart clinics will affect United States health care.  Wal-Mart could be on its way to improving health care if it keeps a positive image.

Do you think Wal-Mart’s clinics will succeed or do you think Wal-Mart will struggle to maintain its clinics?

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