Kentucky public health officials: ‘We have no choice but to get people to the doctor’
Kentucky public safety officials said Tuesday they are in the final stages of a pilot program to recruit emergency responders and other first responders to the state’s medical emergency system.
State health officials said that since the start of the month, about 6,500 people have applied for emergency services at more than 1,200 facilities.
Matt Bevin said the state will expand the pilot program in the coming months.
“We have a very active public health emergency response team, we have the state medical examiners office, we’ve got coronavirus cases that are happening, we’re getting to know people,” Bevin told reporters Tuesday.
“We have the public health division here, the public safety department, and they’re doing a very good job of getting people to get the care that they need.”
Kentucky officials said the pilot project will provide training and resources to public health personnel.
A public health official said he was not aware of any other states using the pilot to recruit staff.
Kentuckians should be prepared to contact local emergency responders for help, Kentucky Department of Health and Human Services Director Tom Stryker said.
The state also will expand a number of services, including testing, medical and dental services, to meet the needs of the public.
“We are going to make it a priority to make sure that all people who come in are able to get access to the services they need, so that’s a good thing,” Strykers said.
More than 20 public health emergencies have been declared in Kentucky, including the coronaviral pandemic, as the country struggles to get health care to those most in need.
The latest outbreak has killed more than 200 people in the U.S. and infected more than 500,000.
The government has announced more than 3,000 cases, and more than 6,000 people have died.