For a growing number of years, rural Washington state residents have had to watch their hospitals close, relocate or otherwise lose health care nearby, while the state has done little about it. Clinics as well.

   Now, WA State announces sexual reproductive, abortion telehealth plan

Telehealth differs from telemedicine in that telehealth refers to non-clinical services, as opposed to clinical services.

The Department of Health, for some time, has watched as rural healthcare services dwindle, hospitals close and not exactly moved heaven and earth to prevent it. A 2019 University of Washington report shows at least 6 rural hospitals in WA are in danger of closing, two of them are considered essential to their regions due to the trauma services they can provide. A few years ago, Deer Park, WA (north of Spokane) saw their hospital close.

Other healthcare providers are experiencing similar issues, especially financially.

DOH not exactly vested in helping?

A search of Department of Health information shows in August 2022, the DOH opened a telehealth program for COVID 19 treatment, but we found no other such programs for general health issues.

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But now, the DOH has announced (as of Wednesday, March 8th) a slew of reproductive, sexual gender, abortion, and other related services will now be available via their new online and telehealth platforms. According to the DOH:

"Available telehealth services include birth control refills, pregnancy options counseling, emergency contraceptives, and screenings for sexually transmitted infections. Gender-affirming care and PrEP for HIV prevention are available at some sites if a person has previously received the services from the provider."

This isn't to say these health issues should be addressed, but it's ironic that so many resources are now being aimed at this certain issue.  Apparently, when it comes to everyday 'common' health questions and issues (aside from COVID and sexually-related topics) it's just not a huge priority for the Department of Health.

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