More assessable health care could mean a stronger state economy - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

More assessable health care could mean a stronger state economy

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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

When you think about growing a state's economy, most of us don't think about health care. That is about to change. Governor Phil Bryant was on the coast Friday morning launching a new initiative.

Governor Bryant says the state needs 1000 new doctors.  For each one, the economic impact would be $2 million in buildings, staff, and equipment. To train those doctors, Bryant said the states only teaching hospital needs a $40 million upgrade.

"We must get started immediately on that building if we're going to have the physicians necessary in the field," the governor said. 

This study was conducted by the Mississippi Economic Council.  The governor wants to make sure it's not put on a shelf and forgotten.

"There will be a leadership organization across the state made up of medical community experts that will help us come together on a continuing basis to make sure the plan is put into place," Bryant explained. 

Expanding health care opportunities in the state makes for good business.  Blake Wilson is the president of the Mississippi Economic Council.  

"It's not just a health care facility, but also all of those things that serve health care, as well as pharmaceutical distribution, pharmaceutical manufacture," Wilson said. 

According to Wilson, a major component of the plan is offering tax breaks to medical companies that come here.  

"The legislature has already passed health care zone legislation and already a significant distribution operation has located up in the northern part of the state thanks to those health care zone incentives," Wilson explained.  

There are several goals involved in this health care initiative spurred by the governor, but the number one goal is the more health care that's available, the more jobs there are.  Mike Mangum is a Jackson County supervisor. 

"Certainly, we're looking for jobs that are going to be in the higher scale ranges," Mangum said.  "We're looking for jobs that are going to be in specialty things." 

Those jobs could play a key role in improving jot only the physical health of Mississippians, but also the state's financial health as well.  

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved. 

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