By ANNE SHELBY AND ALEXANDER NELSON, Associated Press Health care providers across the U.S. are grappling with how to help patients struggling with anorexic disorders and cope with the death last week of Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
A state panel appointed by Abbott is reviewing the handling of the case, which came just weeks after a state Senate hearing and a national outcry over the state health care system.
A spokeswoman for the panel, Sarah Anderson, said the panel will hold a public hearing to discuss the circumstances of the death and the state of the health care delivery system in Texas.
She did not provide a timeline for the hearing.
Abbott, 74, a conservative Republican who ran as a tea party firebrand, had been battling the health system for years, which was under pressure to find ways to keep patients from going without medical care or pay for treatments for mental health issues.
The death of Abbott prompted questions from some lawmakers about how he was able to oversee the health of the system when he was so ill.
The Associated Press can’t verify details of the hearing or the report that led to it.
The governor was hospitalized for pneumonia in August.
In recent weeks, the Texas Department of State Health Services has said it has received thousands of emails, phone calls and letters about the Abbott administration’s handling of a recent coronavirus outbreak.
It has received hundreds of phone calls to request help for the governor and his family.
The AP spoke to health care workers and residents, who described how some in the health-care system are struggling to cope with an influx of patients from outside the state who are struggling with mental health problems.
“I just feel bad for the people who are losing their jobs, they’re losing their benefits, they can’t get any health care,” said Melissa McKeon, a nurse in Houston who has worked at the hospital where Abbott was treated.
“The system has been trying to do everything it can to help the patient and the system has failed miserably.”
McKeone said she’s been working at the clinic since December.
Her boss, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution, said she has been struggling with depression and anxiety.
“We don’t have enough people that are really able to take care of our patients,” she said.
The health-service agency has had to hire counselors and other professionals to help handle the crisis, which is expected to last weeks, said agency spokeswoman Susan Miller.
It also has been looking into how to keep people from seeking care in the state, Miller said.
“It’s a big question mark for us,” she added.
The medical system has to figure out how to deal with the crisis.
The state Health Services Agency has said that the governor was receiving care at the Houston Health Care System when he died.
The agency did not say how many patients were being cared for there.
The Texas Department on Aging, which oversees the nursing home where Abbott’s family was staying, said in a statement that Abbott’s daughter, Jennifer, is now caring for him and his sister, Michelle, at a private facility in Dallas.
“She has been a very caring, kind and loving caregiver, and we wish her nothing but the best as she continues her care,” the statement said.
Health care workers say the health and mental-health systems in Texas have been struggling since the coronaviral pandemic began.
Some have been reluctant to treat people with mental illnesses, citing the stigma of being an anorectic.
The mental- health system is also facing criticism over how long people who struggle with mental illness can be kept in care.
Some mental health professionals say that’s because many people are still waiting for care and because some states don’t consider people who do receive care to be seriously ill.
They say that leaves many mentally ill people waiting in the emergency room, unable to get mental health treatment, and unable to find an appointment with a mental health professional.
In January, Gov.
Greg Abbott signed a bill that provides a federal grant to help improve mental-harming prevention and treatment programs across the country.
The bill also creates a mental-healthy home for people who can’t afford to pay for their own care.
The federal grants will help states expand programs that allow people to seek treatment for mental illness.
The Obama administration is working to increase funding for the mental-aid grant program, which allows states to help expand access to mental health services.
The administration also is helping states develop and expand their mental-care readiness programs.
The Trump administration has not yet given its blessing for the funding, which has not been fully funded.
The Austin American-Statesman newspaper reported that the Trump administration had not given the grant approval.
In his State of the State address on Feb. 8, Abbott said that people suffering from mental illness should be given a second chance.
“Our nation has been through a lot, but the most important thing we have done is to put in place mental-