Arkansas ranks next to last in emergency health care - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Arkansas ranks next to last in emergency health care

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LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -- When it comes to an emergency there's no time to waste especially when we're talking about health care, but according to national research by doctors, Arkansas is failing.

Arkansas received another near bottom ranking, and unfortunately it involves your health. The American College of Emergency Physicians said during a major time of need, Arkansas is not a state you want to be in.

Parents wouldn't be too pleased if their kids brought home a report card filled with D's and F's, and neither should Arkansans. The Natural State received an F in "Access to Emergency Care," and another failing grade in "Public Health/Injury Prevention," according to the group's research.

"My opinion is no, the care is not poor in the individual institutions, but they are sending a message statewide to start improving care in general across a whole population," said Dr. Lee Wilbur with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Dr. Wilbur works in the emergency medicine department at UAMS and is a member of the organization that conducted this national research. He said while many emergency rooms may look full, the true problem in Arkansas is finding a nearby physician.

"Probably the most primary reason for Arkansas' grade not changing (since 2009) is simply because access to care," he added. "It's a very rural state and because it's a rural state, you have to set up and entire infrastructure. In just five years you're not going to have that infrastructure set-up."

Sure it sends a worrisome message to all of us seeking healthcare, but when research like this appears it also catches the eyes of others.

"This also sends information to our health departments as well, about we have national organizations that say that we are getting a low grade as well as many states. I think we need to be very explicit that the nation as a whole got a D," Wilbur continued.

To review the entire report for Arkansas click here: http://www.emreportcard.org/Arkansas/