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144.1465 FINDING AND PURPOSE.

The legislature finds that rural hospitals are an integral part of the health care delivery system and are fundamental to the development of a sound rural economy. The legislature further finds that access to rural health care must be assured to all Minnesota residents. The rural health care system is undergoing a restructuring that threatens to jeopardize access in rural areas to quality health services. To assure continued rural health care access the legislature proposes to establish a grant program to assist rural hospitals and their communities with the development of strategic plans and transition projects, provide subsidies for geographically isolated hospitals facing closure, and examine the problem of recruitment and retention of rural physicians, nurses, and other allied health care professionals.