Urgent care clinics have seen a record number of patients since 2020, and the high volumes don’t seem to be going anywhere. This coupled with changes in the population and their healthcare needs, a growing shortage of physicians and other healthcare professionals, and hospitals closing in rural areas all demonstrate an increasing demand for mobile health clinics. The awareness of these changes has driven many healthcare organizations to pursue mobile clinics as a major part of their services portfolio.
Mobile health care serves a wide section of the population providing dental care, blood donations, primary and preventive medical care, along with mobile mammography and general cancer screenings. We all know cancer screenings are important for the early detection of disease, better health outcomes, and saving more lives. Many organizations work with the CDC through their national programs to extend these services to millions of people.
With more than 2,000 on the road in the U.S. and performing 6-½ million visits annually mobile health clinics serve an important role in the health care system, providing care to some of the most vulnerable populations. Between 2007 and 2017 Mobile Health Map monitored 811 participating clinics to identify:
For decades mobile clinics are a relatively untapped resource for global healthcare. In 2020 and beyond, the COVID-19 pandemic exhibits the important role of mobile health clinic programs. They provide critical access to healthcare professionals, especially for disenfranchised communities. They serve to fill the gap as a safety-net in what is often a deficient healthcare infrastructure, reaching social and economically underserved populations in urban and rural areas.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention more than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking. It is common knowledge that smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke and lung diseases. The FDA states that almost 70 percent of current smokers report wanting to quit smoking, however fewer than half makes it past an attempt. Receiving guidance from a healthcare provider to quit is often the only way many people will make the attempt and follow through.
Mobile medical serves the entire range of at risk populations around the world; from disenfranchised African-Americans with diabetes - to the homeless - to children living in rural environments who lack health insurance - to indigenous communities - to isolated and impoverished people in the Middle East. Sometimes MHCs are the provider of last resort when mainstream healthcare fails to engender trust in a community or in areas where there are not any accessible health provider services.
In 2017, drug overdose deaths in the United States were more than 70,000, which is almost 200 per day. This was nearly a 10 percent increase from 2016.
The model of mobile medical is to provide cost-effective, high quality care, many times to disenfranchised populations in underserved areas.