“Setting up a medical centre in a station becomes an obvious choice”.
On October 1st 2018, the medical centre Quai Santé celebrated the opening in the Montreux train station. Quai Santé is the first medical centre of this size in a train station in western Switzerland. To get answers to why train stations are optimal locations for medical centres and what needs the healthcare sector has in terms of real estate I interviewed Dr. Cécile Besson Duvanel, medical director of Quai Santé.
How did you come up with the idea of setting up shop in a station, Montreux in this case?
The notion of setting up medical centres at stop-off points is gaining momentum in more and more countries. They’re popping up in airports or even in metro stations. This answers a need related to today’s always-on-the-move lifestyle. As such, Montreux is a special stop-off point both for locals on the Swiss Riviera and for many tourists, and its station is the focal point for passenger traffic.
What criteria does the building have to meet or what qualities must it have?
The most important reason for setting up the medical centre was its central location at the heart of the town with its excellent public transport links. We want to promote local medical care which is accessible to the elderly, more vulnerable people as well as being sustainable and environmentally friendly.
So, basing yourselves in the station was very important?
Setting up a medical centre in a station becomes an obvious choice when you are looking to meet the future challenges of primary medical care, specifically those relating to the ageing population. Considering this, you need to be situated at the heart of the local community to ensure the best possible local care.
This is the first time a medical centre has opened in a relatively important station in French-speaking Switzerland. Do you plan to open medical centres in other stations in this part of the country?
We mainly want to develop an innovative concept for primary medical care which is built on prevention, comprehensive treatment of chronic diseases and empowering everyone to manage their health capital.
What are your projects for the immediate future?
We will soon have the opportunity to expand within Montreux station to roll out our concept and offer complementary medical services such as medical fitness, therapeutic cooking or even art therapy.
We talk about smart cities, smart stations. What do these places of the future mean to you and your patients?
Digitalisation, the development of artificial intelligence technologies, all these emerging technologies will have a significant impact on our day-to-day lives in the years to come, including on the way we provide medical care. We want to use these tools wisely to help develop sustainable and efficient medicine to benefit a population that is empowered to manage its own health.
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