Saturday, June 20, 2009

No Quick Fix Primary-Care Doctor Demand Already Exceeds Supply

See Washington Post "Shortage May Undermine Reform Efforts" Saturday, June 20, 2009 article by Ashley Halsey III
No Quick Fix as Demand Already Exceeds Supply
■ "virtually everyone still agreed on one point: There are not enough primary-care doctors to meet current needs, and providing health insurance to 46 million more people would threaten to overwhelm the system."
■ "the shortage of family doctors will reach 40,000 in a little more than 10 years, as medical schools send about half the needed number of graduates into primary medicine."
■ "the report warns, 'if the nation moves rapidly towards universal health coverage' -- which would be likely to increase demand for primary care and reduce immediate access to specialists -- the shortages 'may be even more severe'."
■ "The [pay] disparity results from Medicare-driven compensation that pays more to doctors who do procedures than to those who diagnose illness and dispense prescriptions.
■ "About a third of America's doctors, and half of its medical students, are women. One survey by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association found that female doctors reported working 38.6 "patient care" hours per week and their male counterparts worked about 46 hours."



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