Union County is happy for its healthcare advantages, slim as they may be compared to other states.
Mississippi is known to be the “poorest and sickest” state in the nation.
Though being in the top 10 of the “bottom state” on the list may be “damning with faint praise,” it’s definitely better than not making the list at all.
Our local hospital, Baptist Memorial Hospital Union County has recently been recognized at several meaningful levels for its quality of care and overall efficiency in providing health care. Union County citizens have much to be thankful for in the area of access to medical care.
But why does Mississippi always have to be last on the list? And what does it mean to the state’s citizens?
- It means Mississippi has less primary care physicians per capita than any other state, only one for every 1,463 people.
- It means many Mississippians have trouble finding a doctor. Less than half of Mississippi’s primary care physicians are willing to see new Medicaid patients.
- It means that, if you manage to find a doctor, you may have a long wait for an appointment. OK if all you need is a routine check-up; not OK if you’re sick.
- It means that Mississippians on Medicaid have only two insurance companies to pick from. If you do not select one, Medicaid will do it for you.
- It means that Mississippians buying insurance to comply with “ObamaCare” have less to choose from and pay higher premiums than other states.
- It means that physicians or hospitals may be in financial trouble, even in danger of closing their doors.
- It means that, if doors close in “rural” areas, there is no access to care.
It also means that Mississippians should hold accountable those who are responsible for making decisions about healthcare access.
When parties responsible for failures of care are identified, deal with them as if your life, or the life of someone you love, depends upon it. Because it does.
If they are elected officials, “unelect” them. If they are profiteers, fight them. If they are public employees, make them do their job.
Always remember: these people are supposed to be working for your benefit.