Medical Malls: Assessing Willingness to Consult and Services | 46626

Health Economics & Outcome Research: Open Access

ISSN - 2471-268X


Medical Malls: Assessing Willingness to Consult and Services Anticipated

Atsushi Ito

Japan’s aging and declining population has weakened the financial basis of local government. With most public hospitals being deficit operations, medical resources are deteriorating. This study investigates medical malls as a means to realize concentrated urban health care services and reduce the financial burden on local governments. Medical mall refers here either to a single building or to a designated area in which multiple, independently managed clinics and pharmacies are located. This study undertook an online poll of 563 people to assess the feasibility of using medical malls to concentrate health care services in urban areas. There were seven major findings. Approximately 40% of the polled residents were aware of medical malls; around 20% had attended a mall for a medical consultation. Ninety percent of residents had a positive attitude towards medical malls. Respondents’ “level of interest regarding medical care” and whether or not they had a “consultation history at a medical mall” were the two main factors that affected their motivation towards attending medical malls. Those residents with higher levels of interest in medical care also revealed an explicit willingness to undergo a consultation at a medical mall at a rate 1.5 times higher than that of residents with a low level of interest. Those who had actually attended a consultation at a medical mall were also 1.5 times more motivated to do so again than those with no history of consultation. However, even those with experience visiting medical malls were less motivated to undergo further consultations to the extent that they had less interest in medical care. Many residents emphasized the importance of medical malls being located close to public transportation and shopping facilities, compared with proximity to other services.