Challenges Facing The Rural Population

The medical care index is a part of the Consumer Price Index and is comprised of eight different categories, of which eight are very broad and covers a range of personal health-care products. Each of these eight categories contains many different items, such as hospital rooms, doctor and surgeon services, surgical instruments, hospital beds, dental care, medicines, diagnostic tools, imaging devices, lab services, nursing care, and therapeutic or ambulatory medical services. The eight categories are arranged by type, ranging from over-the-counter drugs and non-prescription medicines, to surgical products, therapeutic or hospital surgical equipment, to durable medical supplies. Other categories are arranged by function, listing diagnostic test equipment, physician's aids, hearing aids, and professional liability insurance. Some items are sold individually or as part of a group; others are sold in packages. For more info, go to

The Medical Care Services category includes a variety of different items, such as blood pressure monitors, diabetic testing supplies, adult diapers, adult immunizations, fertility monitors, urinary tract infections, women's health care, and women's reproductive health care. Items required for training and education are also included, such as learning aids, human growth hormone products, and therapeutic dental products. The category also includes a variety of different procedures, such as surgical supplies, blood transfusion equipment, dialysis machines, kidney disease supplies, and dialysis machine parts. In rural areas, the categories most used are general merchandise, diagnostic, medical equipment, and respiratory care and support equipment.

As compared to the health care system in urban areas, the medical care system in rural areas has a number of gaps. One such gap is in access to basic preventative services. A large number of people living in rural areas do not have access to regular preventative services, such as vaccines and immunizations. They rely on state-funded programs, which are often supplemented by federal or private health care assistance programs. Another gap is that rural residents frequently wait longer than urban residents for treatment for common conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension. For more info, go to

The most important function of rural health services is to ensure that basic health care is available to all residents. Since rural areas have fewer hospitals than urban areas, they have a limited capacity to meet the needs of their residents. This is especially true for non-emergency medical care, such as preventative care and dental care. Even when urgent conditions are present, rural areas may not be able to meet the extended emergency room wait times necessary for some patients. Rural residents may also be transferred to other facilities, but the lack of available specialists may mean that those patients will receive less efficient treatment. All these factors combine to create a very limited scope of primary health care for rural residents.

Rural residents also lack access to quality health insurance. Fewer employers offer health insurance, meaning that employers have provided health insurance only to a small portion of their workforce. Those who are employed at companies with affordable health insurance coverage have been able to keep it through the recession, but many rural areas have been left without any coverage. Those who do have access to employer-sponsored health insurance may find that it tends to be less beneficial than the more expensive plans offered by smaller companies.

Rural residents are facing difficult choices as their communities suffer from lack of basic health care and economic inequality. In addition, they have few options for covering themselves and their families in the face of expensive medical expenses. Fortunately, primary care and medicine in the rural communities can be made much more accessible through improved access to medical technology, primary care doctors, rural health insurance, and access to medicine. By investing in better primary care and access to medicine, we can ensure that all American families have adequate access to the care they need and deserve.

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