KFF HEALTH NEWS: Life in a Rural ‘Ambulance Desert’ Means Sometimes Help Isn’t on the Way

EXCERPT: “In rural areas where hospitals have shuttered, like Pickens County, the nearest surviving facilities are long drives away, ambulance coverage is sparse, and residents in the throes of medical emergencies often find their situations even more precarious. In May, the rural health research and policy centers released the results of an effort by the Maine Rural Health Research Center to document coverage gaps in the availability of ambulance services across the country — what the researchers refer to as “ambulance deserts.” They define those deserts as places where people live more than 25 minutes from the nearest station. The study found that in the 41 states for which data was available, 4.5 million people lived in an ambulance desert. Six in 10 lived in the South. Alabama had 315,000 people living at such a distance, ranking second highest behind North Carolina.” FULL STORY: https://fluence-media.co/3P6R2kl