Investments being made in rural health care in ND

GARRISON, N.D. (AP) — Investments are being made across rural North Dakota to increase and improve access to health care.

The Bismarck Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1pAQ90P ) the U.S. Department of Agriculture alone has invested more than $178 million in 42 projects since 2009.

The investments have gone to hospitals in areas where the facilities are the only medical care available for miles around.

Hospitals in the western part of the state have seen their number of patients soar thanks to the boom in oil country. Some hospitals there have sought grants, loans and even donations from oil corporations to address the demand.

Tioga Medical Center, for example, received an $8 million loan to build a new 15,000-square-foot clinic slated to be finished in 2015. The hospital's patients quadrupled since 2010.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com

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