Missouri health committee discusses improving health services

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JEFFERSON CITY - Some Missouri state representatives said they want to see a change in Missouri health care services and the health care workforce.

The Joint Interim Committee on Health Care Workforce Development met Wednesday to listen to medical experts discuss the importance of developing Missouri's health care system. 

The committee also worked to identify where health care providers are in Missouri and to pair those providers with areas that need more primary care.

Members identified primary medical care as the key area of personnel shortages in Missouri.

"We're now hearing that retaining our primary care doctors is a problem for the state of Missouri," Rep. Diane Franklin said.

The committee said it would like to work to find a more effective use of the health care force.

"In Missouri, we have not moved to a place yet where we have a plan for developing our health care resources," Franklin said, "So if we want to provide great health care for Missourians, provide access to health care for Missourians, we have to have those individuals (primary care physicians) in those places where we need them most."

Franklin said the committee's goal is to put together a plan for the state legislature aimed at bettering the Missouri health care workforce.

"It is so important for Missourians to have a grasp of what their health care workforce looks like now and what it will look like in the future," Franklin said.