As death rates due to COVID-19 keep increasing and hospitals everywhere are experiencing trouble allocating personnel to patients suffering from all sorts of issues, low income women have been struggling to find the medical aid they need.
According to the Texas Tribune, Planned Parenthood employees are scrambling to help find new doctors for thousands of low-income patients after Texas officials and a court order booted the women’s health provider from Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for the poor and disabled.
This has been mainly due to inadequate payment through Medicaid, which has not been an incentive for doctors to provide services through it, causing a shortage in health personnel to attend the poorest.
Only 41% of physicians — 30% of obstetrician-gynecologists — were accepting all new Medicaid patients, according to a 2016 survey from the Texas Medical Association, and another 21% were taking some.
Women in rural Texas are also facing this struggle, as many of the clinics closed during the pandemic and online consultations could not be implemented due to an overall lack of stable internet connection.
There has been a significant loss of both women employment and child care resources, furthermore, specialists such as gynecologists tend to be reduced in number and spread throughout rural Texas, causing women to travel long distances when seeking medical attention.
Texas has had the most rural hospital closures of any state in the last decade, according to one analysis, and some 30 counties don’t have a primary care doctor. The state has the highest rate of people uninsured of any nationwide, and one of the highest teen pregnancy rates.