The demand for cheaper and more accessible healthcare in the U.S. has led to the proliferation of retail health clinics, which offer simple medical treatments for walk-in patients. Could a similar model work in the UK?
Retail health clinics have succeeded in capturing the US public's imagination because they are organized around principles valued by their customers. Retail health clinics:
- Offer easy access to healthcare
- Are backed by strong consumer brands, such as Wal-Mart (WMT) and CVS Pharmacy (CVS)
- Offer value for money, created by the focus on specific treatments, low turnaround time and the use of non-doctor clinical staff
- Are regarded positively by regulators
As a result, they have tapped into both revealed and latent demand and boast high customer satisfaction rates. In terms of a business model, the obvious comparison is with the hospitality industry. Just as motels forego room service and fancy decor to offer clean, comfortable and economical rooms for the night, so retail health clinics dispense with the complex and costly apparatus of full-service medicine to offer quick treatments for minor ailments.
Conclusion: PA Consulting, a global management consultancy, believes that so-called “retail health clinics” in the U.K. have the potential to provide a wider variety of care for patients, delivering more convenience and greater choice. (News report here)