BREWER, Maine — Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems on Friday announced it will close five of its six clinics located inside Walmart stores throughout central, eastern and northern Maine.
EMHS, in a news release, said it intends to close five of the six “The Clinic at Walmart” sites, operated by subsidiaries of Eastern Maine Medical Center, The Aroostook Medical Center, Inland Hospital and Sebasticook Valley Health. The affected clinics are located in Bangor, Brewer, Presque Isle, Palmyra and Augusta.
The exception is the clinic in Waterville, which will remain open, Carrie Arsenault, director of physician practices for EMMC, said Friday.
The clinics first opened in late 2009 and early 2010.
Sites affected by the decision include the two operated by Eastern Maine Medical Center in the Bangor and Brewer Walmart stores. The clinics will remain open until a closing date is negotiated with Walmart. The clinics’ operating hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays.
Arsenault said EMHS decided to close the five clinics because of low patient volume.
In order to break even, the clinic would have had to see at least 25 patients a day, she said.
The Bangor clinic, which opened in November 2009, was seeing about 10 to 12 patient a day, and the Brewer clinic, which opened two months later, was seeing about half that, Arsenault said.
Arsenault said that the clinic closures will not result in layoffs and that affected staff will be offered positions elsewhere with the organization.
EMHS officials encouraged residents to instead use EMMC’s Walk-In Care service located at the EMMC Healthcare Mall on Union Street in Bangor or its primary care practices in other communities it serves.