Montana congressional delegation urges feds for more medical supplies

(KPAX) Montana U.S. Sens. Jon Tester and Steve Daines signed off on a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services requesting they provide promised medical safety supplies and funding.

They were joined by Reps. Greg Gianforte and Liz Cheney of Wyoming. Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso also signed the letter.

“I write today to ensure rural states like Montana have access to test kits, relevant supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE), and ventilators,” Tester wrote.

Supplies in rural Montana hospitals have dwindled since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hospitals are mainly in need of the supplies that are used to keep their health care workers safe from the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. Tester explained in the letter that rural hospitals in Montana need financial assistance immediately.

“Even in the best of times, rural hospitals struggle to balance the books and stay afloat given the extremely low patient volume and increasing move toward home health,” Tester wrote.

The hospitals are inadequately prepared to deal with a pandemic like the COVID-19 at this time, he said.

“The impact of COVID-19 may be more catastrophic in these remote communities if they are not readily equipped to face incoming challenges,” Tester wrote.