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Governor's Healthcare Economic Development Summit

By Courtney Ann Jackson | WLOX-TV | August 15, 2013

Hundreds were attendance for the Governor's Healthcare Economic Development Summit at the Jackson Convention Complex Thursday.

health-care-summitSpeakers from both the healthcare and economic sectors are presented to the group. Their goal is to discuss ways the state can use the health industry to bring in new jobs and grow the state's economy.

"Every physician you can get to move into your community will bring about 2 million dollars economic impact with them. If I were a mayor, I'd go find me 10 doctors," said Governor Phil Bryant.

Some speakers have given examples of how other states have been successful with bringing in jobs through the health care industry.

Governor Bryant is continuing to set other goals, including adding 1,000 doctors in the state by 2015. He says health care can be used as an economic driver in Mississippi.

"As the baby boom comes of age, that market is going to be flooded with more need than capacity," said Bryant.

Some changes have already been made with the introduction of health care industry zones legislation last year.

"This is an industry of necessity. We will have to at some point in our lives see a doctor, be in a hospital, need medical care. So it's not as if we have a choice this is going to happen," explained Bryant.

Now, rural communities are teaming together to get similar incentives for their areas. But not everyone at the summit is praising the state's work with healthcare.

Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran believes it's ironic to discuss drawing new business when the state previously did not to expand Medicaid. Moran says that is a failed opportunity to create health related jobs and provide services to more of the state's needy citizens.

"We all agree we want more health care business in the state of Mississippi. But yet we won't even afford our citizens access to affordable health care," said Moran.