New Doctors Could Be On The Way for Rural Communities

By: Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

We all know what it's like to be sick and have to wait in a long line to see a doctor.

But in many West Texas towns, that wait is getting longer and longer - all because there's just not enough health care workers to go around. 

A new bill circulating on the Texas House floor would put more doctors in rural hospitals, filling a void that's deepening around West Texas. 

Legislators want to put new doctors, dentists, and counselors in the areas that need them most, some right here in West Texas. 

NewsWest 9 spoke with the Crane County Judge John Farmer and he says they're down to one doctor serving the entire county and it's hard to find new ones to move in.

"We're a small town and the pay scale is probably one of the bigger deals," Judge Farmer said. "It's going to take a special type doctor to come here, to move into a small town, a small community."

Lawmakers plan to pay for the medical school debt by taxing smokeless tobacco by weight instead of sales. 

If it passes, they plan to begin offering the initiative to Texas medical students during the next year.