Improve access to health care in rural Missouri

Health care is not equitable across the state of Missouri. In rural communities across the state, even getting the most basic care, from annual check ups to emergency services can be difficult. For some, the difficulty of seeking treatment has the potential to be deadly.

More than 40 percent of Missourians live in rural areas. These communities have a disproportionate incidence of substance abuse, particularly opioids. They also face an acute shortage of behavioral health providers, meaning many go without critical mental health treatment. In six rural counties, there is no primary care provider. Another 71 counties don't have OB/GYN coverage.

Perhaps most alarming is the closure of hospitals in rural areas. Six hospitals have closed in the last four years alone. The need for care will continue to rise with the aging rural population and higher levels of chronic disease. The recent closure of the hospital in Kennett, Mo. is anticipated to force area residents to travel longer distances to receive hospital care.

Governor Parson's Adminsitration is working to address health care issues in rural Missouri, but it's a daunting task. As policy ideas and program and funding changes start to take shape, we need the entire state to mobilize in support of its rural communities. 

Sign the petition to urge our state government to do everything it can to ensure every Missourian in rural communities has easy, affordable access to preventative and emergency health care.
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