WEIGH IN: Is rural health care getting better or worse?

UPDATE Wednesday afternoon: Here’s what I had to say about this to Steven John on All Things Considered today.

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When it comes to health care in rural Minnesota, are you an optimist or a pessimist?

We’re having our third online conversation with a panel of nine doctors, nurses and other health professionals, trying to shine a light on what happens and what’s the outlook when patient meets provider in Minnesota. This time we asked them to tell is whether care is going to get better or worse.

Read what they told us and then answer the question yourself.

The shortage of providers weighs heavily on Dr. Curt Louwagie in Marshall, but Dr. Heidi Korstad in Bigfork declares herself an optimist. Consolidation of facilities is a concern to psychologist Jane Hovland, but nurse Joyce Kramer sees hope in rural-urban partnerships.

What do you think?

(You can weigh in on the two earlier discussions as well. The first asked for examples of barriers rural residents face, and the second asked people to think about one change they would make.)

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