A retail presence could be just what the doctor ordered

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Today, you’re more likely to go to a purpose-built medical complex housing general practitioners, laboratory facilities, rehab specialists and pharmacies – or to an address within an established shopping centre.

Globally, there’s a movement for medical centres and health providers to be strategically-positioned within shopping centres. 

And in some parts of the US, languishing malls are being completely reinvented as medical hubs. 

This trend is underpinned by busy lives, which dictate that accessing essential and elective health services needs to be convenient, time-effective, and close to places of work.

With the retail sector continuing to bounce off the walls in response to growing and evolving e-commerce practices, there’s potentially going to be plenty of bricks-and-mortar retail space up for grabs.

And more importantly, landlords looking to fill those retail units. Property owners inherently seek credit-worthy tenants and there’s no denying that medical practitioners attract foot traffic.

Sure, there are some medical/health/cosmetic medicine operators who, by sheer definition of their services prefer to be in more discreet locations. However, busy retail centres have many advantages for health-related businesses. These include:

•  You could get premises to fit your business – landlords seem prepared to carve up larger spaces to fit multiple tenants.

• You may be able to share reception/administrative services.

• Your clients/patients have access to car parking.

• Locations will be convenient – for you and your clients.

If there are a number of related medical/health providers in the one building, there will be collegial support from other like-minded businesses and potential referral networks.

You’ll be closer to banking/dining/other services offered by a retail situation rather than being more isolated in a residential setting.

For patients/clients, hubbing medical services in one convenient location means they can tick a number of appointments off their list on the same day and have the option of shopping in between. 

For example, in eastern Christchurch, Better Health opened an integrated family health centre (IFHC) called The Loft, on level 1 of the Eastgate shopping centre– a project that came about when Better Health acquired a Linwood general practice. 

The IFHC is anchored by local general practices and also includes pharmacists, a dispensary, various rehabilitative businesses, and other health-related services.

Ahead of the opening a couple of years ago, a spokesperson said the new medical facilities within the Eastgate shopping centre are designed to be flexible, collegial, and accessible with the aim of making general practice part of a broader community facility.

For more Bayleys Insights, see: https://www.bayleys.co.nz/workplace/articles

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