Rural health: Health professional shortages force changes

From InForum:

Terry Hill, Duluth-based leader of national and Minnesota rural health organizations, said rural health is in “turmoil.”

The system of paying for health care is changing nationwide, causing some of the turmoil, but patients are more likely to be affected by a rural doctor shortage that can make it hard to get a quick doctor’s appointment or force long drives.

Doctors working via video from far away will become more common, Hill said. “Telehealth is just an incredibly helpful asset.”

Hill summarized the rural problem: “Rural people are older, sicker and poorer.” Plus, doctors and other health care professionals not not as attracted to rural Minnesota as in the past.

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