One doctor provides care for four thousand residents spread over 600 square miles in Tyrrell County North Carolina. With North Carolina health insurance, residents can visit her at the Columbia Medical Center. But there is a major doctor shortage. Even an ambulance ride to the nearest hospital usually takes 25 minutes.
There needs to be more doctors in Tyrrell County and current ideas feel that if North Carolina health insurance reform does go through, there will be no doctors in the county to serve the residents. To make matters worse, this nurse practitioner is limited to what she can do according to the American Medical Association. Of course she has the ability and knowledge to do almost anything, but the AMA feels patient care could be jeopardized and only allows the nurse to perform certain health care duties.