Mobile health clinics are critical avenues for reaching under-resourced populations. There are over 2,000 mobile clinics serving 7 million individuals annually. Costs per patient are low compared to stationary clinics. Further, they play a critical role in reducing healthcare access disparities by ensuring healthcare is delivered at the doorstep of patients. However, this model of healthcare delivery is a tool that is rarely considered for dealing with emergencies such as a pandemic. The case of the COVID-19 pandemic illustrates several potential areas where mobile clinic programs can play a critical role. Apart from the role mobile clinics have played in improving COVID-19 testing for under-resourced populations, and the current efforts in expanding their use in vaccinations, there are other proposed initiatives that should be explored. Establishing a comprehensive approach to incorporate mobile clinics in our entire health system, would not only be effective for addressing health outcomes of under-resourced patient populations, but will also contribute to the success of a national pandemic response. Mobile healthcare clinics are a vital part of equitable national healthcare solutions, and it is time to recognize their broader potential, and include them in preparation efforts for current and future health crises.
Part of the book: SARS-CoV-2 Origin and COVID-19 Pandemic Across the Globe