How to address rural health care crisis?
Deterioration in rural health care systems in America generally, thus in Georgia as well, has been alarming for quite a long time. Citizens of rural areas are struggling hard to gain quality medical service due to disproportional share of budget money reserved for hospitals across the country and consequentially chronic lack of medical experts, comprehensive diagnostic devices and methods, as well as treatment options. Majority of budget funds and medical stuff gravitate towards urban regions and large medical centers leaving rural areas short of both, medical stuff and equipment. Experts are considering various strategies f addressing this growing problem.
Extensions of large medical centers
One of the ways to resolve some health care issues rural areas are faced with is to affiliate them with the large medical centers. These large health systems are equipped with strong infrastructure, numerous teams of medical experts and powerful technology rural areas can’t afford, but still, need. By making these small centers affiliate with a large one and implementing virtual consultations and telemedicine techniques, rural areas would gain access to comprehensive diagnostic methods, operational and clinical resources and easier access to specialist consultations.
Interact with community organizations and other partners
Including various community organizations into local rural health care system will not resolve their medical system issues, but will probably help in different ways. Namely, many of these locally active organizations, especially those associated with social work and healthcare providing, will enable occasional screening of population, frequent free or at least cheap diagnostics and help citizens monitor their overall health aside official health care centers. Another option is to stimulate partnerships between local hospitals and companies successful in other branches to provide sponsorships and financial supporting of rural medical centers outside the government’s finances.
In addition to the previously described potential of creating partnerships and empowering infrastructure to handle financial challenges, some rural hospitals are founding specific hubs that connect patients from rural areas with large centers via their local hospitals. This delivers video consultation, distant examinations and home visiting and for truly critical patients the transport to large centers is guaranteed.