MONTICELLO, Iowa (KCRG) – In his more than 35 years as a practicing physician, Dr. Stephen Runde has learned that medical care in small, rural communities is a big issue across Iowa and the Midwest.
That is why he said he hopes MercyCare’s new health clinic in Monticello will help address some of those problems.
“One of the advantages to the new building is the wiring,” Runde said. “Those older buildings were not wired for all of the modern electronics.”
Runde said the new space will allow them to expand beyond just primary care. He said now, most times, people have to travel to bigger cities to get specialized care.
“We have got room for it now,” Runde said. “Cardiology, for instance, urology, nephrology, which is kidney disease; doctors from those clinics are going to come out here on a monthly basis once we get a schedule.”
Jenna Lovaas, director of the Jones County Public Health Department, recognized the importance of providing these services in areas that are underserved, but she said there are still barriers.
“Access is definitely an issue in rural areas and not even necessarily because of the number of facilities, but it is also the transportations issues,” Lovaas said. “A lot of people have transportation issues even getting to the clinic.”
Lovaas said financial struggles and lack of health insurance also contribute to limiting health care access.
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