Doctor hopeful about positive changes Medicaid expansion could bring to southeastern North Carolina
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A bill to expand Medicaid in North Carolina recently passed in the House, giving medical providers hope of treating more people in need across the state.
“It would be a game changer,” Dr. Khadijia Tribie, the pediatric medical director for Med North in Wilmington, said.
Tribie said the expansion would benefit our community as a whole.
“We would probably see an increased demand for patient care all the way around,” Tribie said. “I think the other big asset of this is decreasing the pressure on the emergency room. When you have a family that builds a relationship with a primary care provider, they go to the primary care provider first.”
The expansion could benefit nearly 600,000 North Carolinians.
Tribie says those people want and need treatment, but they don’t have many places to turn to right now.
“We have been talking about this for so many years. And unfortunately, North Carolina was at the tail end of doing this compared to other states in the country. But it’s going to be an incredible asset for families. Just imagine moms and dads getting the mental health care they need getting the substance use disorder treatments they need getting the physical health treatment they need and how that’s going to be an asset for parents raising children, which is the population that I see,” Tribie said.
Tribie says she wants to see a change soon so she can, in turn, see a healthier community.
“I think Medicaid expansion is not just an asset for individuals or any one particular health center. It’s just an asset for everyone. So, decreasing the cost of unpaid bills in the emergency room, improving health care and improving relationships ships with primary care providers, really helping our rural communities in the States, that whose hospitals have often been shuttered by this, this crisis in health care and unpaid medical bills,” Tribie said. “So just the opportunity to improve the care of North Carolina citizens is just such a huge opportunity and I hope we’re able to move this ball forward.”
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