Health care convenience stores

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Hi. Welcome to Wal-Mart. May I take your order?

Sure, I’ll have a throat culture, a blood test and a colonoscopy – oh, and a prescription to go, please.

As the nation’s health care system becomes more complicated and expensive, more people are turning to store-based clinics to check-ups and minor health needs.

And, as an Associated Press story said last week, retailers like Target, Walgreens and Wal-Mart are taking note, making plans to open in-store clinics.

Wal-Mart sees the move as more than a way to serve the public’s medical needs and is counting on the plan to drive in-store traffic. The retail giant last week announced that it has hired whom many consider to be the nation’s leading public health expert to oversee the endeavor.

The convenience all sounds great to me, but I’m asking myself whether I really want lines of sick people standing in line at the grocery story while I cart out my fresh produce.