Gov. to hold town hall video meeting in Suffolk next week

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 18, 2004

Staff Report

Next week, the Suffolk Health Department will serve as a remote video-conference site for ongoing discussions statewide regarding access to rural obstetrical services.

Last week, Governor Mark R. Warner announced a series of town hall meetings on the issue.

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&uot;Prenatal, obstetrical, and labor and delivery services are critical components of our health care system,’ said Governor Warner. &uot;We need to find ways to help ensure adequate access to these services for all Virginians.&uot;

Governor Warner signed Executive Directive 2 in March 2004, establishing a work group to develop recommendations for improving accessibility of obstetrical care in rural areas. The governor has established a work group to recommend how to stabilize and improve access to care.

In May, the General Assembly directed a similar study by the Secretary of Health and Human Resources to suggest how to improve accessibility statewide in under served areas. Four major areas are under review: standards of care, reimbursement, malpractice and barriers. A final report is due to the governor this fall.

The office of the Secretary of Health and Human Resources has been tasked with holding town hall meetings throughout the state to gather information form the medical community and consumers.

Suffolk’s town hall meeting takes place on Tuesday, July 20 from 5-8 p.m. at the Suffolk Health Department at 1217 N. Main St.

To address the working group regarding prenatal, obstetrical, labor and delivery services can share comments and concerns at the Sept. 2 meeting in Richmond. For more information contact the Department of Medical Assistance Services at (804) 786-6147 or via email at: