The sweeping changes in healthcare in recent years have forced both medical professionals and policy makers to rethink the ways that services are delivered to patients. For decades, both patients and physicians have made hospitals, clinics and private offices their common meeting place for care. Even children getting routine checkups or those who need to receive care for scrapes for bruises has that image of the hospital ingrained in their minds. The mobile medical unit industry has changed the way everyone sees healthcare.
These versatile trucks have helped to take healthcare to the masses in their own neighborhoods and assisted many to learn more about their own health. Typically, mobile units have set up in remote areas to offer mammograms, dental checkups or laboratories to special groups or to the community at-large. This assists healthcare in many ways, most notably by raising awareness, serving underserved populations, and increasing prevention.
Often, mobile units are geared toward local, regional or national health campaigns. These mobile drives are designed to make the public more aware of the potential dangers of diseases. Those that are aimed at raising awareness about breast cancer, for example, may give mammograms at no charge to visitors, provide informative pamphlets with statistics, or help survivors spread their inspirational personal stories. Awareness campaigns are sometimes strategically set during nationally designated observances of the health condition. This reinforces many campaigns and activities happening across the country.
One of the reasons some people are not more connected with healthcare delivery systems is because they do not have the money or resources to connect directly. Many are living on fixed incomes and do not have the transportation to make even routine checkups. Mobile units in these cases become a major means of making those connections.
If a unit is set up in a park that is in the center of one of the largest neighborhoods in a particular city, it achieves the goal of having a wide reach. Those with cars can drive to the location and others can walk. Those who might be out to enjoy some recreational activity and not planning to address healthcare also can receive services.
Mobile units do much to help prevention. Many who receive services this way are not even away they have certain health conditions until they are discovered during a mobile health drive. They then discover how to be more preventive and stop their conditions from progressing. This is an added long-term benefit for individual health and for the cost of national healthcare delivery as a whole.