CAROLINA — The state is preparing to add its first doctors practices to its medical map as lawmakers look to create a statewide medical system that can better serve patients.
Roy Cooper announced Tuesday the state is planning to launch the new system in 2019, though the exact location and timing of those appointments will be determined.
He said he wants to see how much demand there is for the new program and then plan to make appointments for all patients.
“We’re looking for more people who can come in and see our doctors.
And the reason for that is, we know that if we have more people coming in, we’ll have better outcomes,” Cooper said.
As of July 1, the state has 5,400 doctors, a decrease of about 1,000 from 2016.
A few weeks later, Cooper announced a few other changes that will help improve the state’s medical system.
The state will require all patients with a chronic health condition to receive a medical diagnosis by a primary care physician.
And in 2019 the state will allow residents to bring in their own primary care doctors, instead of having to wait in the office for one to come in.
The state will also be adding a primary health care physician to the state health board.
The new doctor would be appointed by the governor and would have access to patient records, including the names and home addresses of doctors and nurses.
The doctor would also have the authority to refer patients to other health care providers for medical problems, Cooper said in a news release.
Cooper said the new doctors will be in charge of prescribing drugs and procedures to patients, and they will be required to adhere to the highest standards for quality and safety.