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Beatty officials endorse Assembly bills for rural health care, public lands

Updated March 28, 2023 - 9:18 am

BEATTY — Town officials have endorsed a new bill sponsored by a Nye County lawmaker that could provide relief to patients in rural areas who often suffer because of of the lack of access to health care services.

The Beatty Town Advisory Board on Monday authorized a letter to Assemblyman Greg Hafen (R-Pahrump), supporting his Assembly Bill 120, which would remove a restriction under Nevada law that prohibits medical professionals from offering free services unless they have been actively practicing in the last three years before volunteering.

Representatives from Remote Area Medical, which sponsors free traveling health care clinics to rural and underserved areas throughout the country, recently highlighted that Nevada is the only one of 17 states where it operates with the restriction.

RAM served 179 patients in Tonopah at its first-ever outreach event there earlier this month, with support from trained medical professionals who donated their time and services.

“Some rural communities have little or no health care options locally,” the letter from Beatty leaders says in part. “Outreach programs may be their only source of preventative health care and treatment. This makes outreach programs and the volunteers who graciously donate their time critical to the health and well-being of the communities they serve. This amendment could pave the way for more frequent and varied health care programs available to Nevada’s rural population.”

They thanked the assemblyman for sponsoring the bill and asked him to urge fellow legislators to vote in favor of it.

The second letter was in support of the Nye County Conservation, Economic, and Development Act, also known as the Nye County Lands Bill.

The board said that the proposed law had been well-received by the Board and by Beatty residents, and reemphasized “just how important the public lands in and around Beatty are to the stability and sustainability of our economy and the health and well-being of our residents and visitors.”

“Included in the final bill dated April 15, 2022, is a request to convey or quitclaim the Beatty Silver State Shooting Park to Nye County. This action is supported, as it will finally provide clear and final ownership of the property, which will allow local stakeholders in Beatty the opportunity to develop and leverage the potential economic benefits of it.”

Richard Stephens is a freelance reporter living in Beatty.

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