May 15, 2009

Wal-Mart is returning to business of medical clinics bit by bit

It has come to the knowledge that Wal-Mart is getting interested in the business of medical clinics yet again and hence, these days it is busy in rebuilding that business. However, at this time, the concentration is on building partnership with hospitals. Is this a new approach? In no way since the notion of medical business has been in the focus of Wal-Mart for years. It should be remembered that company spoke of having 400 walk-in clinics by 2010, near the beginning of last year. What did happen later on? The plan proved to be disastrous and of the 78 clinics that were in operation at the beginning of 2008, only 17 could operate.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is a widely acclaimed American public corporation that runs a chain of large, discount department stores across the globe. What is more, it is the world’s largest public corporation by revenue, according to the 2008 Fortune Global 500. Besides the company is the largest private employer in the world and the largest grocery retailer in the United States, with an estimated 20% of the retail grocery and consumables business.

There are other aspects as well. It is H. Lee Scott Jr., the previous Chief Executive of Wal-Mart, who had allocated a big role for the clinic project to RediClinic, a privately held company backed by Steve Case, the AOL co-founder. But this was also black as RediClinic, on account of the moribund economic condition, shut down its 15 Wal-Mart centers all of a sudden.

Speaking on this Christi Gallagher, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman, confirmed that the company was “disappointed that RediClinic chose to close all of their locations.” She did mention that Wal-Mart had reopened two former RediClinics in Arkansas, Wal-Mart’s home state, in collaboration with the Northwest Health System. What is the current scenario of Wal-Mart medical clinics? There are only 33 clinics all over the country among them 26 are with a hospital affiliation.

Link: Original Article

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