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Today (November 15th) is National Rural Health Day

Posted by on November 15th, 2018

National Rural Health Day exists to promote awareness of the unique healthcare needs in rural areas of America. 60 million people, or 1 in every 5 Americans, currently live in rural areas of the United States. Receiving medical care is not always easy for those living in these areas due to a potential shortage of providers.

In Arkansas, 44% of the population live in rural (or non-metropolitan) areas. This means there’s roughly 9.5 physicians for every 10,000 people living in rural areas. In Louisiana, there are 9 physicians to every 10,000 rural residents. For the other three states:

  •         New Mexico: 12.5 physicians per 10,000 rural residents
  •         Texas: 8 physicians per 10,000 rural residents
  •         Oklahoma: 10.3 physicians per 10,000 rural residents

This contrasts from metropolitan areas in Texas, for instance, where the average is 25.7 physicians for every 10,000 people.

A few strategies being used to bring more healthcare into these areas include virtual doctor visits, incentives for doctors, and affiliation with larger healthcare networks. Rural Health Information Hub provides several resources for those interested in learning about public health in rural areas. Knowing about the resources around your area could possibly save a life in times of emergency.

map of health shortages

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