The reasons are numerous, but the result is the same: A crisis in rural health care.
That’s the inescapable conclusion from two pieces of related news last week.
The first is the report of a study by the University of Minnesota that rural mothers face a 9% greater risk of life-threatening complications or deaths from childbirth, compared with mothers in urban area.
The second was the announcement by Mayo Clinic that it plans to close its hospital and emergency room in Springfield, in southwestern Minnesota, effective March 1.
Mayo officials have talked for a few years now about the difficulty of maintaining sufficient staff at some of its facilities in smaller communities. That was one of the reasons for the reduction of services at the hospital in Albert Lea.