Lawmakers aim to improve rural health care

MADISON, Wis. - Nearly two dozen Republican lawmakers plan to introduce a package of rural health care bills next session that seek to improve health care, education and technology.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that the $3.5 million package is part of the Rural Wisconsin Initiative.

Republican state representative Ed Brooks of Reedsburg says he wants to draft legislation aimed at bolstering an aging health care workforce by training more workers in specialties needed the most such as OB-GYN and mental health.

Brooks says young residents are leaving rural areas and need incentives to stay in order for communities to thrive.

Steven Rush, vice president of workforce and clinical practice at the Wisconsin Hospital Association, says many health care professionals, such as nurses, often stay where they're trained.

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