Rural healthcare poses challenges healthcare community working to address

Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 9:50 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Medical professionals in rural parts of the state are working to make sure their patients have direct access to the care they need.

It can be challenging for people living in rural parts of the state to get access to the medical care they need, especially in emergency situations.

“Resources obviously are limited”, said Chief Medical Officer and general surgeon of CHI St. Alexius Health Williston, Dr. Wayne Anderson.

Anderson recently received the Outstanding Rural Health Provider award and said he works to make sure quality care is accessible to everyone throughout the state.

“Obviously, healthcare is very expensive and the newest, latest and greatest is never going to make it to our rural communities. Many of them are fortunate to have a cat scan, but they don’t have an MRI scanner for example, or a pet scan for our oncology patient,’ said Anderson.

So Dr. Anderson said he is always thinking creatively to best serve patients.

“You do as much as you can with the equipment that you have and make sure you’ve got. Lines of referral to larger places, whether it’s mine or Bismarck, or even to a major teaching hospital, like the university of Minnesota or the Mayo Clinic or anywhere else, as far as that matters,” said Anderson.

People living in rural areas oftentimes face substantial barriers to care including lack of transportation, higher poverty levels, and increased numbers of people without health care coverage.

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