Urgent care center is a type of walk-in clinic that offers ambulatory care in a dedicated medical facility outside of a conventional emergency room (ER). They are mainly used for treating illnesses or injuries that need immediate care, but do not warrant a visit to the ER. They are affordable, quick, and provide quality services.
Besides treating trauma and injury, urgent care centers also provide screening and monitoring, routine vaccinations, and occupational medicine. Serving to drive demand for urgent care centers is the burgeoning geriatric population, increasing occurrence of chronic diseases that require time to time monitoring and laboratory tests, and substantial money allotted by government and private bodies in urgent care centers.
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Another reason driving the popularity of urgent care centers are quick services and appointment flexibility – something which is non-existent in large corporate hospitals. Posing a challenge to the market, on the downside, is the dearth of qualified healthcare providers and the increasing upfront capital required to set up urgent care centers.
From a geographical perspective, Europe and North America currently lead the urgent care centers. The market in North America is primarily powered by the U.S., which has maximum number of urgent care centers. Besides, the increasing preference for urgent care centers for non-emergency health issues mainly due to its affordability and easy, hassle-free services has also led to their swift uptake in the region. Asia Pacific is expected to emerge as another key market in the years ahead on the back of nations of China, India, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia, and New Zealand which have a sizeable chunk of elderly population.
Global Urgent Care Centers Market: Overview
Urgent care centers refer to a variety of walk-in or no appointment healthcare centers designed to provide cost-effective, quick, and high-quality services to the general public. Urgent care centers serve patients with injuries or illnesses that are not life-threatening but are beyond the scope of primary care services. Majority of urgent care centers provide healthcare services for issues such as trauma and injury, routine vaccinations, screening and monitoring, moderate illnesses, and occupational medicine. The rising geriatric population and the heightened demand for cost-effective healthcare services have led to a significant rise in demand for urgent care centers across the globe of late.
Global Urgent Care Centers Market: Trends and Opportunities
The mounting global population of geriatrics, a vast rise in chronic diseases requiring timely monitoring and laboratory tests, and increased investment from government and private bodies in urgent care centers some of the key factors driving the global market for urgent care centers. The increased consumer preference to urgent care centers over big corporate hospitals owing to benefits such as quick services and appointment flexibility of the former has also fueled the demand for urgent care centers globally. The market is, however, negatively impacted owing to the lack of qualified healthcare providers and the rising costs of establishing urgent care centers.
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Global Urgent Care Centers Market: Market Potential
The increased popularity of urgent care centers among patients is compelling many hospitals to extent their services through this healthcare model. In the U.S., which had 7,357 urgent care centers in 2016, according to the Urgent Care Association of America, hospitals such as St. Luke’s University Health Network and Lehigh Valley Health Network have established several walk-in centers solely around the Lehigh Valley region. St. Luke’s has seven such walk-in care centers and the Lehigh Valley Health Network has around 12 in and around the region. Many other corporate hospital chains have already established or are planning to extend their services in the urgent care sector.
Global Urgent Care Centers Market: Regional Overview
From a geographical perspective, the urgent care centers market has been examined in the report for regions such as North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East and Africa. Of these, regions with prominent developed economies such as North America and Europe are presently the leading contributors to the global urgent care centers market. Owing to the rising numbers of urgent care centers in the U.S., the North America market is expected to retain dominance over the next few years as well. The high rate of preference to urgent care centers for non-emergency health-related conditions and the increased demand for cost-effective healthcare services also contribute to the healthy growth prospects of the urgent care centers market in North America.
In the next few years, the market for urgent care centers in the Asia Pacific region is also expected to gain momentum. Countries such as India, China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand in the region have been observed to have immense potential for the growth of the urgent care model, chiefly owing to a population that is cost-conscious and is rapidly ageing.
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Global Urgent Care Centers Market: Competitive Dynamics
The vendor landscape for the global urgent care centers market is largely fragmented and small vendors such as physician groups and private physician offices accounting for a significant share in total number of urgent care centers located across the globe. Some of the leading vendors operating in the market are CareSpot Express Healthcare LLC, MD Now, MinuteClinic LLC, FastMed Urgent Care, AFC/Doctors Express, MedExpress, U.S., NextCare Urgent Care, Concentra Inc., Patient First, and HealthWorks Inc.
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