BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) – Bettering women’s health and easier access to important drugs were the topics of the state Senate Health and Wellness Committee on Wednesday.
Testimony revealed the gaps in Louisiana healthcare for women and a bill proposed by Senator Troy Carter looks to get agencies across the state working together. One mother told the story of her daughter who died while pregnant because she said the doctors did not listen to her or have the resources to save her life.
The bill creates the Office on Women’s Health through the Department of Health. It would get medical agencies serving women across the state to work together under one roof. They hope with better communication between providers that it can help women find better care.
“Right now they are doing a lot of work but it’s kind of like in silos, it’s not together,” Senator Regina Barrow said. “So to me there may be some duplications, there are some gaps because you don’t know. So each agency is working on it. When you work collaboratively it’s intentional with what the outcomes are.”
The bill was approved and now heads to the Senate Finance Committee to figure out what the project will cost.
“I want to make sure we are involved with them, talking with them to see where we can actually streamline because I don’t want to cut services while we’re trying to make sure that we are fixing the issue,” Senator Barrow said.
The committee agreed there are some gaps in both rural and urban healthcare for women and want to work to improve it.
Another bill passed was a bill that would get the state in line with any changes to the controlled dangerous substances list on the federal level.
“Since our state law was not in concert with the federal law there is some lag time in there,” Senator Gerald Boudreaux said. “This would eliminate that lag time and allow our citizens to receive those drugs that are healing through some type of medical ailment.”
It would not mean legalization of things like medical cannabis, but it would simply follow federal changes.
“This is not going to fast track or circumvent anything dealing with medical marijuana,” Senator Boudreaux said. “
Those bills that we currently have in place, remain in place. This is just some controlled substances that the federal government will approve.”
That bill is now headed to the Senate floor.