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Wal-Mart Eyes Thousands of Clinics, CEO Says

WASHINGTON — Wal-Mart Stores, Bentonville, Ark., intends to contract with local hospitals and other organizations to open as many as 400 in-store health clinics over the next two to three years, said Lee Scott, the company’s president and chief executive officer, in a speech yesterday. If current market forces continue, up to 2,000 clinics could be in Wal-Mart stores over the next five to seven years, Scott told the World Health Care Congress here. “We think the clinics will be a great opportunity for our business. But most importantly, they are going to provide something our customers and communities desperately need — affordable access at the local level to quality health care,” Scott said. Among other steps he said the chain has taken to address the nation’s health care costs include the $4 generic drug prescriptions program, health information technology and participation in a major coalition supporting comprehensive health care reform by 2012.