Health care in North Idaho and Uganda
This summer I was in Bwindi, Uganda. A very small rural village up in the mountains, a long windy dirt road to get there. As a nurse practitioner, I visited the community hospital. They are staffed 24/7 with nurse midwives who deliver all the babies. A general surgeon is available if a C-section is required. Because of the distance, women with high-risk pregnancies stay at a cottage by the hospital. While there, they have health education and education about caring for a baby.
Today I realized this small village in Uganda has better OB care than North Idaho. The laws passed by our legislature are so draconian, that the OB-GYN physicians are leaving town and the state. Not because they cannot do abortions — but because they cannot give care to their patients without the ongoing fear of persecution and prosecution. They cannot treat a person with the life-saving surgery for an ectopic pregnancy because they can be prosecuted or sued by some distant relative of the patient.
This is not the care the woman or families of Idaho deserve. How many more great health care providers need to leave before we are left with nothing?
BONNIE McCRACKEN, NP