Oregon Proposes Rural Health Care Bill

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RUCH, Ore. — Getting healthcare to people in rural areas can be hard, but a plan by Oregon lawmakers wants to make it easier.

The plan would help doctors open new clinics that don’t have access to regular healthcare. Clinics that are already open in rural areas say there’s a big need. Medical care and dental care are obviously very important, but it can be very hard to come by if you live in rural Oregon. The few clinics out there say they provide all they can.

The Ruch Dental Office with Dr. Bill Christofferson has been open for 30 years on Upper Applegate Road, and even in such a rural area, their patient list continues to grow. For some people, the clinic is their only choice between healthy teeth, or an extremely painful option, like pulling their own teeth. They say many patients don’t have transportation into the city or they just don’t like leaving their remote location.

A new bill in the Oregon Senate wants to bring the healthcare to those people. The plan would give doctors loan relief, making it easier to open in areas with fewer people; giving healthcare to everyone, regardless of where they live. Senate Bill 440 is now going to the joint ways and means committee for consideration.