doctors

There won't be enough doctors to run Obama's disease management system

Monday, April 22, 2013 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: Obamacare, doctors, shortage

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(NaturalNews) Millions of Americans have somehow been hoodwinked into the delusion that, once "Obamacare" is fully implemented in 2014, high-quality healthcare will be available for everyone, and the world will live happily ever after. But the truth of the matter is that there simply will not be enough primary care doctors to serve the tens of millions of newly insured patients that will join the healthcare ranks, which means emergency rooms will become even more overburdened than they already are, and quality of care throughout the country will sharply decline for everyone.

A new study published in the journal Annals of Family Medicine provides a logistical reality check into the future of American healthcare, which by all honest assessments is on a downward spiral both in terms of quality and availability. In order to simply keep up with the existing pace of things, the U.S. will need at least 52,000 additional family doctors by the year 2025 in order to care for everyone, according to the data. And a good half-or-so of this amount will result from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, based on the figures.

"The health care consumer that values the relationship with a personal physician, particularly in areas already struggling with access to primary care physicians, should be aware of potential access challenges that they may face in the future if the production of primary care physicians does not increase," said Dr. Andrew Bazemore, Director of the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Primary Care and co-author of the study, about the findings.

Very few graduating medical students are choosing to be primary care doctors these days

The situation is already a pretty big mess apart from Obamacare, as graduating new doctors have already been shying away from becoming primary physicians for years. Whether it is a deliberate decision to avoid having to deal with Medicare and Medicaid, or a desire to simply make more money -- primary care physicians are not as highly paid as sub-specialists -- many doctors are choosing other career paths. And the eventual consequence of this trend, if it continues at current rates, is that patients will have to wait in long queues just to see a personal doctor, if they can even find one in the first place.

"Looking at shear reality, we can't turn on a spigot and drop out new doctors. Expect long waits if we cannot figure out how to resolve it," added Dr. Randy Wexler of The John Glenn Institute of Public Service and Policy, who has some very serious concerns about the future of general medicine in America. "The only place left to go for primary care will be the emergency room."

"[Patients] won't be able to see a primary care physician hardly. Primary care will be past saturated with wait times longer and will not accept any new patients. There will be an increase in hospitalizations and increase in death rates for basic preventable things like hypertension that was not managed adequately."

To make matters worse, nearly one-third of all existing primary care physicians are expected to retire within the next 10 years, which means the situation will be even more dire. Unless more medical students decide to go into primary care -- and why would they, particularly in light of the fact that Obamacare will greatly lower the bar in terms of physician pay and workload? -- the American medical system as we know it is headed for an eventual collapse.

Sources for this article include:

http://news.yahoo.com

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org

http://www.mercurynews.com

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