Plans for up to 2,000 in-store clinics mooted
The world's largest retailer Wal-Mart has unveiled plans to launch 400 in-store health clinics over the next three years.

Wal-Mart president and chief executive Lee Scott said if present demand continues, he will open up to 2,000 clinics over the next five to seven years.

Scott said: 'The clinics will be a great opportunity for our business. But most importantly, they are going to provide something our customers and communities desperately need - affordable access at the local level to quality health care.'

The health clinics, which will lease space in Wal-Mart stores, will be managed by local hospitals or other organisations independent of Wal-Mart. The move is a significant expansion of a pilot project that began two years ago in several stores across the US.

Scott added: 'We know that customers like and want these clinics. At existing clinics in our stores, about 90 per cent of patients reported being satisfied or very satisfied. They appreciate the fast, easy and convenient experience.'

The clinics, which will be staffed by certified nurses or physicians, will offer basic services including cholesterol screenings and physical examinations, as well as preventive remedies for allergies and sinus infections.