Governor to seek $600K for telemedicine programs

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez will ask the Legislature to provide $600,000 next year for telemedicine services to help provide access to medical specialists for patients and primary care providers in rural areas.

The governor proposed Monday that the money be used for buying and installing equipment and computer technology, such as teleconferencing video systems.

If the money is approved by lawmakers, Martinez said, health care provider organizations could apply for grants.

The governor said telemedicine programs, such as Project ECHO at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, can provide medical care to patients in rural areas without the need to travel long distances to Albuquerque or other urban areas where most health care specialists are based.

The Legislature meets in January for a 30-day session.

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