Speech to Text for Public forum addresses rural health care issues
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a controversial topic across our area... access to health care in rural communities. some hospitals have had to close certain clinics in small towns - and even ambulance services are feeling the pinch due to cuts. many that work in the health care field are fed up with the current state of affairs. kimt news 3's alex jirgens went to a rural health care forum in new hampton today. he joins us in the newsroom - alex?xxx rural health care crisis-lintro-2 amy and katie - make no mistake about it - there were many complaints and concerns related to health care in rural iowa at in addition to the hospital and several clinics in mason city - mercy one also operates a medical center in new hampton. representative s from mercy one were at the forum - and i spoke with some who see these issues firsthand.xxx rural health care crisis-pkg-1 lowerthird2line:rural health care forum new hampton, ia from medicare reimbursement s... "we had an ambulance in alta vista, new hampton, fredericksburg and nashua. you don't get that today." ...to frustration finding an ambulance - people voiced concerns at the forum doreen cook used to run the chickasaw ambulance service until about 10 years ago. she says issues she was dealing with a decade ago continue still - including getting reimbursement from medicaid. lowerthird2line:doreen cook former owner, chickasaw ambulance service "in the past, we've been hearing for the past several years, they're not getting reimbursed for the cost. and if you don't get reimbursed for the cost, what are you going to do? you're going to cut your service, you're going to cut your employees, and you're going to cut your service area." lowerthird2line:rural health care forum new hampton, ia cheryl haggerty is the chief nursing officer at mercy one new hampton. she says issues surrounding the privatization of medicaid have led medicaid patients to go elsewhere. lowerthird2line:cheryl haggerty mercyone medical center "we lose for the community, and we have the potential to lose that patient for the hospital because they can go to howard county. why would they stop with us?" lowerthird2line:rural health care forum new hampton, ia the reduction in service has even put a strain on services - which are needed at a moment's notice. "eventually you do get to a point where you say, alright. we can call a helicopter and it can be here in 10 minutes, or i can wait 40 minutes for an ambulance. what do you wanna do? and i shouldn't have to ask the patient that in that situation?" / / rural health care crisis-ltag-2 also discussed today was the shortage of volunteers to run the ambulance service. in fact - jeremy mcgrath - the current man in charge - says that most volunteers are over the age of 55. in the newsroom - alex jirgens - kimt news 3. / thank you alex. state representative todd prichard was also at the forum - and advises those who are adamant about change to contact their legislators - and even the governor's office. / amy