ERIC Number: ED309008
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1986-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
The Status of Health Care in Appalachian Kentucky. Appalachian Data Bank Report #4.
Bagby, Jane W.; And Others
In the early 1960's, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) established a goal to make health care more accessible to the people of the mountains. Today, a primary health care facility is within a 30 minute drive of nearly all Appalachian counties. There has also been a substantial, but still inadequate increase in health care professionals in the region. Health care is more physically accessible than in 1964; however, cutbacks in government spending, combined with an economic depression in the coal fields, threatens to create economic barriers to the continued improvement of health conditions in Appalachia in the 1980's. The ARC stated in its 1985 report that it will be leaving the responsibility of maintaining and improving Appalachia's health care system to other federal, state, and local institutions. The weak tax base of most Appalachian counties in Kentucky significantly reduces the ability of local communities to provide medical care for their citizens. Funding for both federal and state health care programs face continued cutbacks. High unemployment and underemployment hamper the ability of individuals to pay health care costs from their own pockets or through job-related health benefits. Local health care facilities often operate on a shoestring budget, patched togehter with government and private money, volunteerism, and make-do medicine. Mortality rates show that eastern Kentuckians die younger than central and western Kentuckians, and, under current economic conditions, have little prospect for improved health care in the future. Teenage fertility rates in eastern Kentucky are one and one-half to two times the national average. Infant mortality rates in the region continue to be higher than the national and state average. Appendices contain four tables and six maps. (ALL)
Descriptors: Health Care Costs, Health Facilities, Health Services, Medical Care Evaluation, Medical Services, Rural Areas, Rural Development, Rural Economics
Appalachian Center, University of Kentucky, 641 S. Limestone, Lexington, KY 40506-0333 ($3.00).
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Chessie System, Cleveland, OH.
Authoring Institution: Kentucky Univ., Lexington. Appalachian Center.
Identifiers - Location: Kentucky