While some people may not have yet heard of them, retail “minute clinics” are becoming more and more used throughout the United States. These are health clinics often located in retail pharmacies which provide certain health services at reduced prices.
These facilities are so popular that CVS had 600 clinics in their stores, and that was back in 2011. These clinics are seemingly blessings to those who can’t afford regular doctors, but just like anything else that seems too good to be true, there are certain risks involved.
Safety of Minute Clinics
Many people have positive experiences with minute clinics, but this is not always the case with pharmaceuticals, which have shown to have detrimental health effects. The simple truth is that, even though health clinics may be safe in most instances, it’s essential for people to understand the possible risks they face. Unfortunately, when it comes to these outfits, some people simply aren’t getting what they think they’re paying for.
The danger behind minute clinics is that people aren’t visiting doctors. The individuals who staff these clinics are nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants, and neither of these two professions, though necessary in the medical field, have the skills, experience or training of an actual doctor. While this doesn’t mean that they’re not adept at helping people, it does mean that individuals might receive better medical care by visiting an actual physician.
Popular Uses for Minute Clinics
The truth of the matter is that most people use this inexpensive option for seemingly simple things like colds, flu shots and other vaccine administrations. Sadly, this still doesn’t mean that they’re safe. In one instance, a child was actually given an adult-strength flu shot not approved for children. In an even more tragic case, 23 elderly individuals died after receiving flu shots during a drug trials, which happen to be the same drugs sold to pharmacy retailers across the U.S.
It may be difficult to understand these types of mistakes, but once someone looks at the statistics, it becomes easier to comprehend. Medical professionals of all types, stemming from neurosurgeons all the way to pharmacy techs, have been sued for medical malpractice.
It’s just the way the world works. When it comes to nurse practitioner malpractice lawsuits, however, nearly one in five cases involved medication errors. At this point, it seems less surprising that people are being injured by medication and vaccine application in minute clinics.
Negligence on Part of Pharmacies
Many people would wonder exactly who is to blame for these types of errors. Unfortunately, the government has concluded that people cannot sue drug companies based on injuries sustained by vaccines. This, of course, was meant to cover manufacturers for the few cases where the vaccine, after being properly administered, caused harm. This doesn’t mean, however, that minute clinics and their corporate owners cannot be sued for malpractice when they negligently cause harm.
It’s important to remember, though, that laws will vary by state. Florida, for instance, a person will only have two years in which to file a medical malpractice case from the time the first discovered an injury. Consulting with a legal professional who is well versed in state law will be instrumental in resolving this unfortunate scenario and while determining how to navigate issues like statues of limitation.
Fortunately, most ill effects of minute clinic negligence will be obvious within this time frame. Anyone in any state suffering an injury after “treatment” at a minute clinic, though, should immediately seek out legal help and not press the statute of limitations. Vital evidence can disappear over time.
Having consistent healthcare services is essential for a person’s well being, and there’s no doubt that saving money on these services is preferable. When it comes to accepting subpar care in order to save a few dollars, though, the cost-benefit relationship doesn’t always come out positively on the side of the patient.