Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will open its first in-store medical clinics under its own brand name after leasing space in dozens of stores to outside companies that operate the quick-service health stops.
Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart is among several U.S. supermarket and drug store chains that in the past couple of years have begun opening store-based health clinics, which are staffed mostly by nurse practitioners or physician assistants and offer quick service for routine conditions from colds and bladder infections to sunburn.
About 7 percent of Americans have tried a clinic at least once, according to an estimate by the Convenient Care Association, an industry trade group formed in 2006.
That number is expected to increase dramatically, as chains like Wal-Mart, CVS Corp., Target Corp. and Walgreen Co. partner with mini-clinic providers like RediClinic and MinuteClinic to expand operations. The trade group estimates there will be more than 1,500 by year-end, up from about 800 in November.