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North Carolina’s key to improving maternal mortality rates

Maternal mortality rates in North Carolina are climbing at an alarming rate.  

The CDC reports that over just a two-year span, the number of women who have died within six weeks of giving birth doubled — jumping from 22 deaths per 100,000 births to a staggering 44. And the growing lack of access to care as rural hospitals close maternity wards or shut down altogether, often because of staffing shortages, is at least partially to blame. The distressing situation leaves rural mothers no choice but to commute further to find care, increasing health risks for themselves and their newborn babies.  

This crisis is not isolated to North Carolina but extends across the nation, where the demand for healthcare services outpaces our ability to supply enough physicians to meet that demand. By 2030, the United States is projected to face a staggering 120,000 physician shortage. That means thousands of people, mostly in rural areas, will lose their doctors. And with the added concern that nearly 40 percent of American physicians will reach retirement age by that year, the data paint a worrisome picture of the future of healthcare access. 

Read the full piece in The North State Journal.