Increasingly, shipping containers remodelled as medical clinics are making it possible (and affordable) to deliver quality healthcare to populations in remote areas. These clinics also allow fast, easy deployment of emergency response teams in the event of community health crises.
Smart clinic solutions for remote healthcare
In India, Bhutan and the Philippines, governments are rolling out “smart” container clinics. These clinics are equipped with state-of-the-art medical devices and machinery, and enable healthcare providers in rural locations to connect to doctors in city hospitals via the cloud.
These smart clinics mean that even in poor, isolated communities, it’s possible to offer patients not just basic care, but also remote medical examinations and diagnoses by healthcare professionals who are located hundreds of kilometres away.
Accessible emergency medical care in disaster zones
Container clinics shipped to disaster zones have saved thousands of lives. NGOs were quick to deploy trauma units to Haiti following the catastrophic earthquake of 2010. Estimates are that more than 30 000 people were treated in a “Clinic in a Can”.
In West Africa, rapidly deployable modular isolation units constructed from shipping containers helped prevent the rapid spread of the dreaded Ebola virus in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
In America, temporary medical clinics on flatbed trucks were on the road within hours to mitigate the effects of the Gulf Oil Spill and Hurricane Katrina.
Some reasons why mobile medical clinics are so effective? They’re comparatively inexpensive, mobilise and quick to deploy.
Low-cost healthcare in a box
The cost of converting a container into a clinic is a fraction of the cost of constructing a traditional brick and mortar building.
Hospitals of Hope, for example, built two 12-metre container clinics for $12 000 in 2010. Taking inflation into account, this is roughly equivalent to just $13 400 (about R171 794).
Portable and modular
The size, durability and portability of shipping containers make them the ideal building blocks for primary care units, mobile dental clinics, mobile emergency rooms or other healthcare facilities.
Shipping containers are purpose-built to be transported by road, rail or sea. So container clinics can easily be relocated to high-demand areas, if and when the need arises.
Container-based solutions are also scalable, with clinics ranging from single units to larger multi-unit facilities.
Secure, stable and long-lasting
Containers are built of marine-grade steel, making them exceptionally strong, durable and weather-proof. On average, a container has a life span of more than 25 years.
Containers are also tamper-proof, provided installed doors or windows are properly secured. This makes them suitable for safeguarding expensive medical equipment and supplies.
At Big Box Containers, we rent, sell and convert high-quality shipping containers for a range of purposes, and can work with other specialists to customise containers to meet unique needs. Contact us for a quotation or to find out more, and we’ll be happy to help.