Health Care:

Availability in the Texas-Mexico Border Area

HRD-89-12: Published: Oct 26, 1988. Publicly Released: Dec 1, 1988.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on health problems and the availability of health care in the Texas-Mexico border area counties.

GAO found that the Texas-Mexico border area: (1) extended about 1,000 miles, comprised 16 counties, and had 1.5 million inhabitants, 73 percent of whom were Hispanic; (2) reported a higher general birth rate and lower death rate than the United States; (3) reported higher rates of communicable gastrointestinal diseases, hepatitis, tuberculosis, and syphilis than the United States; (4) had physician and dentist shortages in most counties and had fewer nurses and physician assistants than most areas of Texas; (5) tended to have its hospitals, health centers, and emergency care services and equipment in more highly populated areas; and (6) could benefit from federal, state, and local health-related programs involving maternal and child health, disease-specific screening and medical services, general prevention and treatment services, and general health care assistance, such as Medicaid.

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