By John Bray
Looking around one day I found we were surrounded by a variety of health care facilities: instant medical care places on every corner, blood test labs almost right next to them, large dental emporiums and of course drug stores wherever you looked.
We are now in a health care world where almost any ailment can be attended to without delay. Need a heart transplant, come on in. … We can test your blood while you wait. … Come on in for a set of false teeth in an hour. … Need a six- pack, our drug store has it. Incredible!
If you need medical attention it’s good to have someplace to go quickly but aren’t these places overdoing it? How many health care facilities do we need on the street?
The drug stores on every corner have been around for a while and they are a far cry from the ones we remember growing up. Back then they had drugs and comic books, that’s it. You could take your mother’s prescription, they were written out then, to the pharmacist, after you looked at it and tried to read the doctor’s writing, and then speed-read comic books until it was ready.
Now you just pick up the medication that has been sent from the doctor by computer, get a six-pack, snacks, check out the hundreds of magazines on the rack, make some photos and redeem hundreds of coupons for assorted stuff. The old drug store of our youth is long gone.
At the blood test shops, I have seen senior citizens try to figure out the automatic computer check in that has replaced receptionists. Some have even walked out in frustration. Once you figure it out your first name goes up on a screen telling you how many minutes you must wait. Blood test one day, results in 24 hours. Amazing.
The dental emporiums are replacing the single dentist office slowly but surely. With a staff of thousands, you can walk in with a toothache and be in a chair in minutes. It’s the wave of the future, very convenient for those with an immediate dental problem. This practice will develop into the dentist coming to your home to treat you. Probably in a fully equipped dental van.
I must say the instant medical places are a convenience, especially if they are next to a pizza shop. If you need a problem taken care of and want to avoid the crowd at the emergency room of a hospital the quick medical facility is the way to go. I’m not sure if they can do a knee replacement or remove your gallbladder on-site, but you can inquire. And, you can pick up a pizza after you are checked out.
The one non-health care facility that I am sorry to see fading away is the local gas station mechanic. The days of taking your car to the corner mechanic are quickly dying. The extreme high cost of high-tech diagnostic equipment, lack of mechanics and excess of dealerships is forcing the local mechanic to retire and there are no replacements on the horizon. That, and the high-tech cars of today that can’t be repaired by the corner mechanic are forcing you to the dealer for service.
Well, with all the home delivery of everything, including beer, on the horizon we may not need a car in the future.
John Bray just returned from getting a blood test, a new prescription and a pizza.