Your Health Nov. 19, 2013 Rural health shortages - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Your Health Nov. 19, 2013 Rural health shortages

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Birmingham, AL -

    Alabama will celebrate National Rural Health Day on November 21st.  It's a day to raise awareness of the unique health care issues facing including a shortage of health care providers for rural Americans.

     Fifty-five out of 67 of Alabama's counties are considered rural, and two-million residents or 43.6 percent of the entire Alabama population live in rural areas.  Alabama currently needs 156 strategically placed primary care physicians to eliminate all primary care shortages and 434 to provide optimal care.  Only three of Alabama's 55 rural counties are not entirely or partially classified as primary care shortage areas.  They are Coffee, Marion and Pike counties.

  Eight rural Alabama counties do not have hospitals.  Only 19 of the 55 rural counties offer basic obstetrics services. All of Alabama's 55 rural counties are classified as dental shortage areas for the Medicaid population. 

   Alabama currently needs 262 strategically placed dentists serving the Medicaid population to eliminate all dental shortages and 363 to provide optimal care.
     For community health status indicators, supporting activities and a list of available services to help increase health care access in rural communities, go to <http://www.adph.org/ruralhealth>.  

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