Report examines expanding health business in Mississippi

By Emily Wagster Pettus/The Associated Press

JACKSON — A new report says Mississippi should expand its health care system by producing more physicians and providing incentives for them to work in rural areas.

It says Mississippi has trouble competing for biotech research and development jobs because too few residents are highly skilled in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

However, it says state can compete for back-office jobs that support the health care industry and it can attract low-cost jobs in pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Gov. Phil Bryant traveled Friday to discuss the report issued by a business group, Blueprint Mississippi.

Bryant says the state is giving a $10 million grant to the University of Mississippi Medical Center to help it expand so it can produce more physicians. UMMC leaders say a new medical school building would cost $62.6 million.