Retail Clinics Scarce in Poorer Areas

Just like there are less grocery stores in poorer areas, less retail clinics are being built in those areas.  This systemic challenge makes health changes hard to overcome.  From USA Today (5/27/09):

Walk-in retail clinics in grocery and drugstore chains were designed primarily for convenience but also can help the uninsured find health care, proponents say. But a new study suggests most retail clinics aren’t in the poorest neighborhoods — they are in more affluent areas already well-served by other medical resources. A study by University of Pennsylvania researchers in Monday’s Archives of Internal Medicine mapped 930 retail clinics operating last year, then used U.S. Census data to describe the income and racial makeup of the neighborhoods. Only 123 clinics were located in areas defined by the federal government as medically underserved. Census tracts with clinics had lower percentages of black and Hispanic residents, lower rates of poverty, higher rates of home ownership and higher median incomes.

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