The status of health care along the U.S.-Mexico border is the canary in a coal mine for the rest of the United States.
The 33-county region tops the nation’s charts for its high rates of residents who live in poverty or are uninsured, obese, diabetic, or have other chronic health care challenges and worries about long-term care. The demand for health care far outstrips available supply and access. The region has one of the lowest rates of physicians per capita to care for its sick, promote healthy behaviors, and prevent disease.
Physician leaders along the border from El Paso to Corpus Christi as well as San Antonio united in 2001 to establish the Border Health Caucus (BHC). Their mission: to ensure lawmakers in Austin and Washington, D.C., understand the unique health challenges facing the 1,250+-mile border region and improve access to care for its more than three million residents.
Fifteen years ago, BHC doctors fought relentlessly for and passed landmark legislation that has helped recruit and retain physicians to the region. As a result, more patients are getting the quality care they need, when they need it. But much more work remains.
One hundred percent of the Texas border region is designated as both a Health Professional Shortage Area and a Medically Underserved Area.
Border Health Caucus main page
Last Updated On
December 02, 2019
Originally Published On
June 17, 2019