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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Walmart launches full-service medical clinic to compete with hospitals

A new juicer? Check. Value-sized window cleaner? Check. Vitamins? Shaving cream? Groceries? Check.

There isn't much you can find at a big-box retail store these days that can't also be purchased from the comfort of home in just a few minutes, with just a few clicks, and Walmart is well aware.

Hence the constant flow of new products and (perhaps more importantly) services available within the corporation's ubiquitous brick-and-mortar stores: Opticians, mechanics, hair salons, financial advisors, mobile phone kiosks, restaurants and even walk-in clinics.

Now, with the launch of an expansive new multi-disciplinary medical centre in Vaughan, Ontario, Walmart can compete with hospitals too.

A new, first-of-its-kind Jack Nathan Health centre within Walmart's Supercentre at 8300 Highway 7 is being billed as a "revolutionary patient-first healthcare offering" where Walmart shoppers can access everything from physiotherapy and nutrition counselling to ultrasounds, echocardiograms an on-site blood lab.

At 8,500 square feet, it's one of the largest facilities of its kind in the region and the most expansive in-store Walmart health clinic ever. 

"The evolution of the healthcare experience is here, thanks to our fully integrated services within a retail store," said Jack Nathan Health co-founder George Barakat in a release announcing the clinic earlier this month.

"With instant referrals, there's no waiting time for hassle-free access to quality care and top-calibre practitioners under one roof. That's in addition to all the benefits afforded to customers with our clinic being connected to Walmart."

Indeed, to make consuming easier, the clinic provides patients with paddle pagers so that they can shop the store while waiting to see a doctor or other healthcare professional.

Jack Nathan Health, a privately-owned medical management company and Walmart Canada partner, already boasts more than 70 much smaller clinics around the country, but hopes to expand on its mega-clinic concept moving forward.

"In all of our clinics, all of our partners understand that creating a one-stop shop environment in health care is essential. Essential to make retail health the first point of contact to alleviate hospital holdups," said Barakat to Retail Insider in an interview published Thursday.

"Our tagline is it's a revolution in health care but the reality is it's a revolution in retail health care," he noted. "The consumer can do more with less time."

by Lauren O'Neil via blogTO

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