When it comes to health care news, I think Barbara, Jim and I could write and talk about “we told you so” topics for a month straight. Back in Nov. 2009 – four years ago – I referenced a Wall Street Journal piece out how the upcoming health care doctor shortage and noted the problem was being ignored.
From my post in Nov. 2009.
A couple of lines popped out at me last night while reading Herbert Pardes opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal entitled The Coming Shortage of Doctors. Congress continues to consider a health care plan to fix the crisis that really does not exist. Yes, I know, some people are unable to pay health care insurance premiums and not everything is covered 100 percent, but everyone does currently have access to health care.
My point is that without the service side of the equation – enough doctors – you may not have access to any health care at all.
The WSJ’s article is still available online and Pardes’ post starts…
None of the health-care reform proposals advancing in Congress address a fundamental problem that will soon face this country: a critical shortage of doctors. There were reform ideas put forward in Congress that would have addressed this problem. Most notably, Rep. Joseph Crowley (D., N.Y) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D., Fla.) have proposed training an additional 4,000 new physicians to add to the 25,000 entering the profession each year. But their proposals haven’t made it into the bills on which congressional leaders hope to vote.
(Note, I don’t think the federal government should get involved with proposals to train more doctors, the demand would easily take care of the problem if the government would stay out of it.)
Again, the WSJ and I wrote about the real problem facing the United States when it comes to health care, but that real problem was completely ignored. Want to know why? They didn’t give a crap. And now all of the main stream media outlets are starting to pick up on all of the “issues” with the legislation.
Right now, there is already a shortage of 20,000 doctors nationwide, and with healthcare expansion, plus increasing population, there will be a need for about 52,000 primary care doctors by 2025.
This while only 20 percent of new doctors become primary care physicians and the new landscape has older doctors bailing, [CBS News] reported. …
“They are not training enough residents. The number of medical students has increased a little bit, but the number of residency spots has not. They’ve kept the number of residency spots frozen for, I think, 13 years now,” [Dr. Sam Unterricht of the New York State Medical Society] said.