Clinics are facilities that provide medical care to low-income people. They may offer extended hours and be open on weekends and holidays. Some are affiliated with a physician’s office, while others work independently. Most offer primary care and preventative care. Others focus on specialized conditions such as sports injuries and pediatrics. Generally, clinics do not provide 24-hour coverage.
Clinics may be public or private. They can also be mobile. Mobile clinics are typically run out of pickup trucks. These clinics are often run by a medical group. Most clinics are not affiliated with a hospital, though they can be. In some countries, clinics are affiliated with a medical school.
Hospitals are another common form of medical practice. Clinics are smaller, and patients rarely stay overnight. Most patients who visit a clinic have minor illnesses and do not need specialized care. However, patients should still make an appointment with a physician. In some cases, the doctor may refer the patient to a specialist.
Retail clinics are also available. These clinics offer many services that traditional medical offices don’t offer. Many are staffed by nurse practitioners or physician assistants. They are a convenient option for minor ailments and injuries. Some of them offer extended hours, including evening and weekend hours. The doctors in these clinics also have the option to take patients via telehealth.
The market value of urgent care clinics has reached $15 billion. This is largely a result of the fact that these facilities treat large numbers of patients. For example, in 2016, they saw an average of 15,300 patients a year, while retail clinics saw 294 visits per week. The industry is growing rapidly, with more retailers adding treatment options to their retail spaces. For example, Kaiser Permanente recently announced a joint venture with Target, placing retail clinic services in 31 Target stores across Southern California.