Columbia, South Carolina – After a study by the Boston Consulting Group pointed out big problems with how South Carolina manages its health services, Senator Tom Davis from Beaufort, who is a Republican, is pushing for a big change with a bill he recently proposed. He wants to make things better because, right now, people have to ‘jump through hoops’ to get the health care they need, which he thinks is pretty exhausting process.
Six different agencies under one roof
He’s got a plan for a bill that would make things simpler by bringing six different agencies under one roof, creating something called the Executive Office of Health and Policy. This would include agencies that deal with drug abuse, disabilities, health services, mental health, aging, and a new one focused on public health.
Theirs is also a plan about making a separate department for environmental stuff, currently part of the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). Senator Harvey Peeler, who’s from Oconee County, also thinks it’s high time to bring our health services up to date.
“We are operating in a 1960’s model. This is finally bringing our health services into the 21st century,” he said.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster supports the idea
A big part of the plan is that the governor will pick a public health director, and the Senate has to agree with the choice.
Governor Henry McMaster is all for this idea. McMaster is pretty worried about how the mental health services are currently doing in South Carolina.
Some have said it’s the worst in the country,” McMaster said referring to the mental health services. “It was designed over time and different pieces and may have worked at one time, but now, the problems are so strong.”
On January 31, the Senate Medical Affairs Committee said yes to this plan. This means the lawmakers need to work fast to get the bill completely done before their working session is over.
There’s also a similar bill that they’re looking at in the State House of Representatives.