Mega Doctor News
The Rio Grande Valley has historically been plagued with a severe physician shortage, limited resources and is a medically underserved area with critical health epidemics. Hidalgo County has the highest percentage of adults lacking health insurance in the United States. Almost 49% of residents in the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission metro area are uninsured, about three times the national average. As our population grows rapidly, the demand for physicians and access to care also grows. Demands are escalating at both ends of the age spectrum as more babies are born and our older population lives longer.
We need to develop solutions that will positively redefine our future. An incredible opportunity has recently energized our communities in the creation of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. I proudly authored Senate Bill 24, legislation that gave birth to UTRGV by merging UT-Pan American and UT-Brownsville and creating a freestanding medical school. We stood united as a legislative delegation embracing a regional mindset to secure the bill’s passage. The vision of UTRGV united our communities and will provide endless healthcare benefits as well as more jobs, lower poverty levels and higher educational levels for our families for decades to come.
While exciting potential exists in the medical school, we need to look closely at what it will take to guarantee a stable financing source to sustain its costs for years to come. We, as a community, need to be informed of our options, the costs, and the incredible benefits of such a vision. We need to provide resources that will support a medical school, cover our community’s healthcare needs and expand our economy in the future. MDN