TIPPER GORE: Calls For Better Rural Health Care Access
Tipper Gore took to the stage Wednesday at a meeting of the Rural Health Association of Tennessee in Gatlinburg, touting health care programs that aim to boost services in rural communities. The Knoxville News-Sentinel reports that Gore spoke to the assembly of health care providers and administrators, calling for an end to the "health provider shortage." She noted that 36% of Tennesseans live in rural areas, and that the concentration of providers in urban areas creates a physician shortage for 20% of the state's population. "Rural areas have limited health care options. That's not fair, and it should be focused on," she said. Gore "further enumerated a bevy of grants and government measures aimed at improving rural access to health care," including a $38 million grant allocated to the Rural Health Outreach, Telemedicine and Network Development Grant Program. She advocated widespread use of telemedicine, "designed to combat rural access problems by 'using telecommunications to connect remote rural health care providers with experts in urban and suburban medical centers.'" Gore also applauded a $25 million grant to providers in 144 rural communities, which extended health care to "at least two million rural citizens nationwide" (Stafford, 11/19).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.