Months after Walmart announced its plans to enter into the healthcare industry, the world’s largest retail chain has opened a Care Clinic in Galvaston, Georgia.
Northwest Georgia News has released that services to be offered at Walmart Care Clinics include preventative health services, diagnosis and treatment of illnesses and guidance on managing chronic problems such as high blood pressure.
Walmart clinics will offer customers healthcare services at the low price of $40 per office visit. Walmart employees can receive care for just $4. This comes after Walmart recently announced that it was dropping Healthcare insurance for employees working less than 30 hours per week.
Jennifer LaPerre, Walmart’s Senior Director for its Health and Wellness Program in an interview stated that the low prices they will offer stem from the fact that Walmart places high value on price leadership.
“It was very important to us that we establish a retail price in the health-care industry because price leadership matters to us.”
Guardian Liberty Voice reported that Walmart said ‘their first move would be to target the markets in which they had a large number of employees with a limited amount of medical markets.’ But one critic has addressed this, saying that the areas in which Walmart’s clinics are placed don’t have shortages of doctors compared to the more rural areas of Georgia. The critic-Reeves- a member of the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians Board of Directors said Walmart’s decisions might be ‘based more on the economic potential than on serving a need.’ But as the Times Free Press reports, for some, it may be more about added convenience.
“It’s a great price for my family and the clinic will be open a lot more hours than my pediatrician.” –Linda Baggett, Walmart Cashier
The Walmart Care Clinic in Georgia will cater to more than 1,300 employees and family members, as well as to walk in customers and those with appointments. It will be open 77 hours a week — from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m, the Times Free Press reports.
Walmart previously opened three Care Clinics in Texas and two in South Carolina. These States were considered as pilots for Walmart’s healthcare program. The locations in South Carolina were said to be chosen because of its low-income demographic. Post and Courier reported that when Walmart’s Care clinics were opened in South Carolina, Sumter Mayor Joe McElveen expressed that the service was very much needed.
According to Guardian Liberty Voice, Walmart has huge plans to take their healthcare services global. Walmart’s new Care clinic is expected to open in Rome on October 31.