Public Health New Mexico
5:47 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Udall Proposes Health Bills

Credit Senator Tom Udall

New Mexico Senator Tom Udall has proposed two bills to address access to health care in rural communities. 

Every county in New Mexico, except one, has been designated by the federal government as having a health care provider shortage. And beyond a shortage, surveys show that over half of the doctors in New Mexico were at capacity and unable to take on more than a handful of new patients.

Senator Tom Udall has introduced two bills to address these problems: the first bill would create incentives and  rewards to lure students wanting to pursue careers in primary care to rural areas. The second aims to create better options for veterans in search of services.

“It will expand options for veterans to get care outside the VA system, including alternative medicine and Native American healing methods,” said Udall. “It will also expand the transportation grant program so that rural programs will have more options when they need to to get to far away doctors appointments.”

The Democrat says the state's health care industry will grow up to 20 percent over the next decade, and that his proposed bills could help spread those new jobs around the state to communities in need.