Governor Phil Bryant toured the state Friday touting his goals of using the medical industry to create economic development.
Jackson was the last stop on the Blueprint Mississippi Tour, where the findings of a Mississippi Economic Council study, "Health Care: An Economic Driver," was presented.
That analysis was presented in Biloxi, Tupelo, and Jackson on Friday.
Bryant says the state needs 1,000 more doctors by 2025, to serve in mainly rural areas. Each doctor could provide two million dollars in economic impact.
The first-term Republican says there are incentives in place to keep doctors in Mississippi, such as a $100,000 cap on state income tax and tuition pay for serving in rural areas.
State leaders also want to build on what the state has to bring in skilled positions, in pharmaceutical distribution and manufacturing, along with medical equipment manufacturing.
"We have a middle skill economy, so lets go get those kind of health care related industry jobs: service jobs, back shop jobs, distribution jobs, manufacturing jobs that we can create now. we can get them now and once we get them, we need to build on this opportunity over the years," said Mississippi Economic Council President Blake Wilson.
The Governor also used the time to tout the state's Health Care Industry Zone. The bill gives tax incentives to companies that locate in "designated health care zones throughout the state" and meet certain requirements in exchange for a $10 million investment, along with the creation of 25 jobs.
Bryant's administration cites Teleflex Incorporated as a success story.
The company located in Olive Branch after the HCINZA legislative went into effect in July. Teleflex plans to hire more than 200 in the coming years.
Bryant also has plans for a new medical school. He plans to ask the legislature for $35-45 million bond issue to help pay for the development.
Bryant says $4 million has already been approved for site design studies. He also plans to apply for $10 million in CDBG grant funds to help pay for the new school, a projected $60 million project.
"We've got to have a new medical school to generate the number of physicians that will be necessary to treat an aging population in Mississippi," explained Bryant.
Wilson told WLBT the state must also advance its technology to better enable nurse practitioners, who serve in rural areas, to better communicate with doctors.
Often times, nurse practitioners will serve in communities where there is no doctor.
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