We attended the Medical Legal Partnership Learning Session organized by the Mississippi Access to Justice Commission, the Mississippi State Department of Health, the Office of Health Disparity Elimination, and the Mississippi Center for Justice on May 4 at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
One of the issues that was presented at the session was how the medical and legal professions could work together to eliminate health harming social conditions.. Medical legal partnerships through hospitals, medical care facilities, and the legal profession can contribute significantly towards the goal of eliminating social conditions that in the long-term affects individual and community health.
While there are many avenues for collaboration, medical and legal practitioners may work towards developing medical-legal partnerships to help children, the elderly, veterans, and people with chronic illnesses in their communities get and stay healthy by:
1. providing individuals with a legal case with the funding needed to pursue their case and enforce their rights as plaintiffs when they have been injured or discriminated; and
2. providing doctors with the funding they need to treat patients who may not have access to funding or whose access to funds for medical treatment is delayed through account receivables financing.
Addressing the legal and medical needs of a patient to prevent injustices to a particular individual and build community well-being requires innovative solutions. It is imperative that the dialogue between the medical and legal professions continues to ensure that innovative forms of collaboration and partnership emerge to protect individuals who are disadvantaged and marginalized because of their socio-economic conditions.