Bill seeks to improve access to health care in Oklahoma
By State Rep. Josh Cockroft

When you call your doctor’s office, how long do you have to wait for an appointment? If you live in rural Oklahoma, how far do you drive for even basic health care? The truth is, too many Oklahomans wait too long and drive too far for the care that they need.

A lack of health care providers is about more than the inconvenience of long drives and wait times. Oklahoma faces a health care crisis. Our state is 49th in physician-to-patient ratio, and 64 of our 77 counties are designated as primary care “health professional shortage areas,” state Health Department statistics show. Many Oklahomans simply don’t have access to the health care they need.

This year, I’m pleased to author House Bill 1013, which takes a common-sense step toward addressing this problem. HB 1013 would allow nurse practitioners (NPs) to practice to the full extent of their education and training, increasing consumer choice and access to health care for all Oklahomans.

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