Healthcare ‘crisis’-Jones calls meeting of Black Belt medical leaders

Published 3:51 pm Friday, July 12, 2019

It’s a crisis,” U.S. Senator Doug Jones, D-AL, said to a group of people Friday at Wallace Community College-Selma (WCCS) as he updated the efforts to expand access to the healthcare in Alabama and hear from a panel of rural healthcare providers to talk about the difficulties they face in serving the areas we live in.

With the Alabama Medicare reimbursement rate the lowest in the nation, according to Vaughan Regional Medical Center CEO David McCormack and 13 hospitals closing in Alabama over the last several years, healthcare in Alabama, according to Jones, healthcare in Alabama is in trouble.

Dr. Charles Lett, a Selma native and general surgeon of 40 years, talked about the “great disparity” in healthcare along racial and economic lines that have plagued local residents for years, noting that, in terms of median income, Selma is among the lowest in the state.

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There are bills, however, that Jones believes will at least help the mothers in Alabama.

One bill would allow mothers to stay on Medicaid up to one year after having a child, which would be paid for increasing the cigarette tax.

Another bill that Jones has introduced is to address drug prices.

Amid all of this though, there still remains the need for citizens to be educated on their health.

There were many including Jones and the entire panel that agreed with this, but it should be a priority.

The only way to get people fully well is to educate them on why they are sick and what they can do on their own to fix themselves.

Medicine supports their healing but is only as effective as the patient’s drive to make themselves better.

We must be vigilant in our health.