Saturday, September 14, 2019

Cheap Medical Care?

Every time you think you have seen it all ....
and heard it all, you discover you haven't.

I was on my way to my annual visit with my cardiologist when the news came on the radio. Walmart is about to open their very first stand alone health clinic. I was blissfully unaware that some of the Walmart super stores have clinics in them. I knew that some of the Target stores had them. One stop shopping on a whole new level.

Is this the newest approach to health care? When you go to a clinic or an emergency room, you are well aware that you might be exposed to some very sick people and could possibly get even sicker. I have been to some facilities that have separate waiting areas. One for those who have are there for a check-up and then another for those who are sick. 

I wonder what will distinguish this Walmart clinic form other urgent care facilities? The one-stop shopping will not factor in. I am sure they will be similar to other clinics and accept insurance in any form. Will they offer roll-back prices? They already administer flu shots and other vaccines in the pharmacy. 

Will the Walmart medical clinic slowly start to add merchandise? You know, just a few items related to taking care of yourself. Pain relievers and cough remedies, then a full aisle of vitamins and supplements. Bandages and heating pads. Then, before you know it, deodorant and shampoo. The "waiting area" will slowly be taken up with aisles of goods pertaining to your health and well being. they will start with just baskets to haul your merchandise in and soon carts will appear. Outside the clinic, of course. They will have to add a structure for the carts. About that time, the "manager" of this new facility that was to be dedicated to health care will decide there should be a small aisle for chicken noodles soup and juices (drink plenty of fluids) and the entire facility will have to grow to accommodate all the merchandise and a waiting area for all those ailing people who flock to this Walmart health care facility thinking they will get some health care on the cheap, what with the name of the facility including "Walmart" on the front of the building.

I ponder things while driving. My cardiologist is located in Washington. Washington, Missouri, that is. They have a clinic  in the hospital in Hermann, Mo. It is a pleasant drive, about 20 miles on a two lane road meandering through farmland and woods. On the way you are on a decline as you slowly make your way to the Missouri river. Once over the bridge, you find yourself in the quaint little town of Hermann. 

Bed and breakfast, bakeries and antique stores line the streets as you drive very slowly through the town and begin the ascent to the road leading to the hospital and a winery. Even though my check-up found me a few pounds lighter with an excellent blood pressure, I did not decide that a wine tasting was in order. It was only 9 am, after all.

As I exited the hospital through the main door on the front of the building and headed to my car, I looked up to see a black truck parked right there at the entrance in what I thought was a handi-cap space. The windows were open and in the driver's seat sat a man engaged in the process of brushing his teeth! His mouth was all foamy with agitated toothpaste. I sorely wanted to whip out my phone and snap a shot of this, but he was looking at me, as I was looking at him.

I got into my car and sat there watching out the rearview mirror, all the while wondering where he was going to spit out the foamy toothpaste, which triggered my gag reflex, so I started home.

5 comments:

Joanne Noragon said...

What a sight!

Kathy G said...

There are a couple of Walgreens around here that have a walk-in clinic. It's only staffed by nurse practitioners, but I use it when I need to get an immunization.

Val said...

I've been through Hermann, back when I was teaching in Cuba. The road is like a roller coaster. No Walmart clinic for me. Maybe they'll have curbside service, like they're doing with groceries now...

River said...

Your description of Hermann sounds delightful. Perhaps the man was going in for a throat examination and wanted to be sure his breath was minty fresh.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

You look around a car park and you will see some strange sights, people are strange.