Published: May 17, 2021
By: Kathleen Peppo | LSU Manship School News Service
BATON ROUGE, La. (LSU Manship School News Wire) – A bill to create an office for women’s health within the Louisiana Department of Health moved through the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday.
Rep. Denise Marcelle, D-Baton Rouge, said she brought House Bill 193 to address inequities in Louisiana’s healthcare system.
Marcelle said that when it comes to inequity, “we can always do better.”
“In rural areas, we can make sure that patients do not have to travel as far,” she said. “Whether that is putting a clinic there, putting resources there, getting education to them so they know what they can do to have better outcomes.”
She said it would help to have a specific unit at LDH to address the issues.
Alma Stewart, president of the Louisiana Center for Health Equity and a registered nurse for over 40 years, said she has “seen things not get better but worse, and there’s evidence to support that.”
She said the state’s childbirth mortality rate is among the highest in the nation, and that rate is four times higher for Black women.
She also said in a prior interview that Louisiana is ranked 49th in healthcare outcomes for women and children based on 2020 national data.
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