The Legislature finds and recognizes that rural health care is in the process of transition. Many rural communities are finding it difficult to recruit and retain health care professionals, to keep hospitals open, and to provide quality care to their residents. Although recent national rankings show that Nebraskans are among the healthiest in the nation, continued stress on our rural health care system could leave areas of the state without adequate health care services.
The Legislature further finds that rural health care issues will be best addressed through a comprehensive approach that emphasizes two principles. First, rural health care problems are seldom isolated in their causes or effects. Second, rural health care problems are most effectively resolved by residents of the area involved and state strategies should focus on assisting those residents to develop and implement their own solutions to such problems.