Cary Medical Center inspires newly passed rural hospital law
CARIBOU, Maine — Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill into law on Tuesday, March 17, allowing rural hospitals to hire emergency medical technicians to help fill workforce shortages.
Senate President Troy Jackson introduced the bill to the Legislature on Jan. 14 after learning from nurses, doctors and administrators at Cary Medical Center last fall that Cary and other rural hospitals in Maine wanted to hire emergency medical technicians and paramedics to address healthcare workforce shortages.
Jay Bradshaw of the Maine Ambulance Association also testified in support of the bill, calling it a “win for EMS, hospitals and most importantly the patients.”
Jackson said the new law will help rural hospitals better serve their communities.
“In light of the COVID-19 outbreak in Maine we need to make sure our rural hospitals have everything they need to save lives and help protect Maine people,” he said. Rural hospitals are essential to the health and well-being of communities all across this state. As access to health care in rural areas has decreased, hospitals like Cary Medical and Northern Maine Medical Center are stepping up to fill the gaps. They deserve our support.”
The law will take effect on June 16.