Obama administration officials, alarmed at doctor shortages, are looking for ways to increase the supply of physicians to meet the needs of an aging population and millions of uninsured people who would gain coverage under legislation championed by the president.
The officials said they were particularly concerned about shortages of primary care providers who are the main source of health care for most Americans.
One proposal — to increase Medicare payments to general practitioners, at the expense of high-paid specialists — has touched off a lobbying fight.
The need for more doctors comes up at almost every Congressional hearing and White House forum on health care. “We’re not producing enough primary care physicians,” Mr. Obama said at one forum. “The costs of medical education are so high that people feel that they’ve
got to specialize.” New doctors typically owe more than $140,000 in loans when they graduate.
In March of 2005 it was reported that many Americans may soon face: a shortage of physicians that makes it hard to find convenient, quality health care. The shortage will worsen
as 79 million baby boomers reach retirement age and demand more medical care unless the nation starts producing more doctors, according to several new studies.
Unless more medical students begin training soon, the supply of physicians will begin to shrink in about 10 years when doctors from the baby boom generation retire in large numbers. It takes 10 years to train a doctor, the nation will have a shortage of 85,000 to 200,000 doctors in 2020 unless action is taken soon. This was reported in 2005. It takes a long time to train a doctor.
America's rural and inner-city poor already are suffering the most. For example, there are 280 doctors for every 100,000 people in the U.S. But there are only 103 for every 100,000 in the 18-county area of the Mississippi Delta, according to the Mississippi State University Social
Science Research Center.
Is this shortage of doctors only in the United states? No. In Canada a doctor shortage at the Saint John Regional Hospital forced the Sussex Health Centre to close its emergency room over the weekend, and that is prompting anger from the town's mayor.
Doctors weren't able to staff the overnight weekend shifts at the Saint John hospital's emergency room, so the Sussex clinic had to send over its doctor to fill in.That left the Sussex Health Centre without its emergency department during those overnight hours on Friday and Saturday.
Esther Pacione regular doctor suffered a stroke a years ago, and all the local doctors she has contracted say they cannot take new patients, now Pacione, a retired bookkeeper. goes to a walk in clinic whenever she has an emergency. At the clinic, she waits hours and sees a different doctor each time, and no one there is familiar with her medical history and what drugs she has been taking.
During the recent closely fought election campagin, Prime Minister Paul Martin promised to fix Canada's health care system for a generation. Is this the system that President Obama is looking at?
Will President Barack Obama ruin our health care system by making it harder to see your doctor? Will your doctor have so many patients that he or she won't have enought time for you? Oh yes, there is also a shortage of nurses. President Obama this will not work.
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