U.S. Physician Shortage May Worsen Following Healthcare Overhaul


U.S. physician shortage may worsen following healthcare overhaulAlthough democrats claim healthcare reform will provide millions of Americans with medical insurance, there is no guarantee that there will be enough doctors to treat the sudden influx of new patients.

Over the past decade the United States has seen the number of students training to become primary care physicians and registered nurses dwindle rapidly, and the recently passed healthcare bill is bound to only exacerbate the issue.

According to the Associated Press (AP), several recently published reports have predicted a shortfall of approximately 400,000 primary care physicians over the next 10 years due to other career paths and medical specialties having better pay, improved hours and a higher profile.

"I think you have a real supply issue," said Fred Earley, the president of Mountain State Blue Cross Blue Shield, quoted by the Charleston Daily Mail.

"I think we have a real concern over whether we have the number of physicians or primary care providers to provide the care for all these additional people that are going to be accessing the health care system," he added.

The federal government has estimated that 65 million people currently reside in areas that are experiencing a shortage of local doctors. In Massachusetts alone, approximately 40 percent of family and general practitioners are not accepting new patients, a record number for the state that is only expected to increase over the next few years.

Personal Liberty

Special To Personal Liberty

You Sound Off! is written by our readers and appears the last Wednesday of each month. If you would like to submit an article or letter to the editor for consideration for You Sound Off!, send it to yousoundoff@personalliberty.com by the Friday before the last Wednesday of the month. To be considered, a submission should be 750 words or less and must include the writer's name, address and a telephone number. Only the writer's name will be published. Anonymous submissions will not be considered.

Join the Discussion

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.