Mississippi doesn’t have the medical workforce to address a wide range of poor health outcomes, from high rates of maternal and infant mortality to severe cases of diabetes that require the amputation of limbs, the state’s top health officer said. Dr. Daniel Edney, who leads the Mississippi State Department of Health, told lawmakers Thursday that the state health department is short 150 nurses and low health care access in the state’s impoverished Delta region is becoming “scary.” The challenges have placed Mississippi near the bottom of national rankings that track the performance of state health care systems. “We may be at the bottom today, but we don’t have to stay there,” Edney said. “I’m just begging for partners to help us … because we have too many Mississippians who are dying prematurely. We have too many who are aging with poor health and we have too many people struggling for access to care.”
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