Some North Country Health officials told Gov. Hassan Thursday that increasing funding for psychiatric services and expanding Medicaid are vital for improving healthcare in the region.
Hassan met with workers at Ammonoosuc Community Health Services in Littleton.
Its executive director, Edward Shanshala, told Hassan it is good that she restored funding for primary preventive care.
And he is hopeful that Medicaid will be expanded to help low-income families in the North Country who can’t afford health insurance.
But, he said, more money for psychiatric services is needed.
“We still have a six to nine month wait to get a patient into a psychiatrist for non-emergent areas and I am fairly convinced we would not do that for someone who needed a cardiologist or urologist,” he said.
Hassan said she is concerned about these issues and it is particularly important for Medicaid to be expanded because it would provide health insurance for about 58,000 people statewide.
“And at the end of the day we all end up paying both in terms of health and in terms of money for care that is delayed or delivered in the middle of a crisis,” she said.
A legislative committee has been studying expanding Medicaid with a report due in October.
“We need to find a way to come together and provide needed healthcare for all our citizens,” she said.