Remote Area Medical wants laws that allow physicians to provide care across state lines

News 12 Now
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) Free medical services were provided all weekend at Ooltewah High School and communities across the nation.

Here in Chattanooga Remote Area Medical provided care for more than 8-hundred people in just one day, but getting the volunteers to help in these efforts has become a huge problem according to Remote Area Medical founder Stan Brock.

"A tooth is a tooth in New Jersey as it is in Las Angeles, and the person qualified to do something about it has been educated to the same standards in both of those states."

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Brock said providing free dental and vision care is something he loves to do. and he’s glad the show Senator Bob Corker how difficult it is to keep this operation going.

"Tennessee happens to be one of the few places where doctors can come in from other states to do work," said Corker. "It’s something that Stan would like to see all across the country."

This means that in some states Stan can’t get the volunteers he needs. They come from all over the country to help serve a growing problem.

"What they have found is even though people have access to medical care, what they don’t have is access to dental care and to vision care, and you don’t think about that," said Corker.

For almost 40 years Remote Area Medical has been providing free services in remote areas around the country only to be confronted with this constant roadblock.

"You’re not allowed to cross state lines to provide free care for the under-served," said Brock.

Stan says there’s only two ways to get this changed.

"You’re either going to change the law at the state level or you’re going to change the law at a federal level."

His one single hope is to see this complete during his lifetime, but he will need some help from the federal government.

"The fast track is going to be a federal mandate that allows doctors to cross state lines."

Brock added that only 13 members of Congress have actually attended the events in the organizations history.