Rural Kentucky county trying to find answer to lack of health care
ROBERTSON COUNTY, Ky. (FOX19) - Primary health care can often be taken for granted by some while others in Appalachian Counties view it as a luxury.
Robertson County, Kentucky is made up of 2,200 residents but there are no doctors.
The county is about 60 miles southeast of Cincinnati, located at the foot of the Appalachian Trail.
“The scary part is if something serious happens, like an emergency, the nearest hospital is like 30 miles in either direction,” Mike Henderson said.
That could be deadly if someone in Robertson County suffers a stroke.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, deaths due to stroke are higher in Appalachian Counties like Robertson.
It ranks 23 out of 32 counties in the United States on the CDC’s list of stroke deaths per capita.
Registered Nurse Allison Alexander is the closest thing Robertson County has to a doctor.
“If you can get an aspirin in the system, that would be great,” Alexander explained. “That kind of helps if there would happen to be a clot.”
But what does someone do if they have an immediate need for medical attention?
“If you can get them in a car and take them yourself, your chances are better than waiting for the ambulance, but if they’re down, you have to wait, and you just have to hope for the best,” Linda Edwards, Senior Center Director, said.
Ambulance service is another pressing issue for Robertson County.
The judge-executive said the county is negotiating with Next Direct to have an ambulance parked and ready at their clinic in Mt. Olivet.
The Next Direct clinic is a recent development.
Three days after the story aired, Next Direct called the county to let them know they would be opening a primary care clinic in Mt. Olivet.
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