Lawmakers in Texas met with healthcare industry members to talk about potential solutions to certain problems, such as a shortage of doctors, the number of people without insurance, and funding issues.
Emergency department staffing solutions from third-party providers may help address the problem, especially in rural areas of the state that struggle to retain or recruit physicians. The meeting between various state leaders and industry players took place as the unemployment rate in the state improved to 3.9%.
Money serves as a major factor for solving the current health care problems in Texas. It will require contributions from localities and the state, as well as from the federal government. Adequate funding will be crucial in lifting the number of insured people in Texas, which has the most number of people without health coverage at 4.5 million.
Doctors remain in demand, particularly in South Texas. John Krouse, the dean of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine, said that the university’s launch of its first medical school will help in training new doctors. The state could do its part by providing more residency slots for post-graduate training, according to state Sen. Juan Hinojosa.
Despite a shortage of doctors, latest employment data showed that the healthcare and education sectors added 400 jobs in October, according to Dallas Fed Senior Economist Keith Phillips. The growth may be small, but it somehow provided some optimism, particularly in San Antonio.
Phillips said the city’s healthcare employment has been among the strongest to date. Overall, the state added 63,400 jobs during the month, while the jobless rate of 3.9% represented a record-low figure.
The different healthcare problems in Texas require a solid cooperation between the public and private sectors, which should focus on gathering enough funds to solve most of the concerns.