Newly seated 7th District state Sen. Jim Perry (Rep-Wayne, Lenoir) is already ex-pressing big concerns about health care, particularly in his district and eastern North Carolina.
Perry, a retired Kinston businessman, was selected to replace longtime Sen. Louis Pate Jr. of Mount Olive.
Pate stepped down due to health issues.
Sen. Perry’s comments and position on health care as it impacts North Carolinians and those in his two-county district came about as the result of a series of recent meetings with representatives and lawmakers focusing on the current health care profession and its services to residents in rural areas.
He said in a news release to The Tribune that the people of North Carolina face unique challenges.
“Access to health care in rural areas is a huge issue for our population, and one that can be difficult to understand if you live in an urban area containing medical options on every street corner,” he said.
Sen. Perry said that is far from the case in many eastern counties like Lenoir, Wayne, Greene, Duplin, Sampson, Jones, Martin, Bertie, Pitt and others.
He said in many cases the availability of health care in those areas may be devastating when compared to its urban area availability.
“Simply stated, our nation-wide system of health care has been built on the concept that some do indeed pay more to cover the costs for those who cannot afford care. I did not create this system, but that is certainly how it works. The same is true for Vidant Health that provides health care in 29 counties, representing roughly 15 percent of the state popula-tion,” said Sen. Perry.
He recalled that when he grew up in rural Lenoir County he did not have health care with a single mother and remembers his early days of “having my toes in the dirt.”
“I have serious concerns about the health care for people in the eastern part of the state,” Sen. Perry said.
He went on to say, “Regard-less of political parties, associations, affiliations or any special interest groups, there are still reasonable people left in the world. I ask all of you to spend some time understanding this issue. Ignore the hyperbole and find objective truth. Look at all the information, not just what one side wants you to see.”
He said it is an issue that has been building for years.
“Health care is an issue about people “and we can’t forget them,” he said.
“It is my hope that we can work together to find ways to address these very real issues. We can find better ways without throwing the people in the east-ern part of our state into the path of another hurricane,” Sen.Perry said.