Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd says she believes New Jersey is investing in healthcare, making it a priority. She said increased funding to charity care has helped to ensure that all members of the community have access to quality care. Other funding helps train and retain physicians in the state.
While O’Dowd says politics plays an important role in the public discussions about issues, it comes second to the needs of the population when she does her job. She added that she has worked with the Democratic administration of former Gov. Jon Corzine and the Republican administration of Gov. Chris Christie.
O’Dowd says she hasn’t seen any major changes in healthcare with regard to women’s reproductive rights and while there were cuts to programs in that area, she points out that there were many cuts throughout the budget that had to be managed.
“I think in the context of the overall budget we’ve done a good job of preserving overall access to healthcare services across the continuum of care,” she said. “There are a lot of different providers out there that can provide a different array of services and I think my job as commissioner is to make sure our limited resources are focused in the most efficient way to make sure we have access to healthcare services in every community based on what their needs are.”
O’Dowd sat down with NJToday Managing Editor Mike Schneider to discuss healthcare issues in the state in the second of a two-part interview.