The federal Affordable Health Care Act is expected to provide insurance coverage for an additional 30-million Americans by the year 2014. But, some officials are concerned Arizona won’t have enough doctors available to meet the increased demands of local patients.
A new study shows that the state is already facing a severe shortage of primary care doctors…and the demand will only grow after the federal health care program hits full speed in the next two years. The report was done in part by the Arizona Chamber Foundation.
Executive Director Suzanne Kinney estimates the state will be short 800 medical residency students that eventually become doctors.
More proof, Kinney says, that Arizona is facing a physician crisis. “We are going to have more people that have health insurance and research has shown that people who were previously uninsured…that then get health insurance are going to have pent up demand for health care services…”
Kinney says Arizona’s budget crunch is a setback because lawmakers recently cut millions of dollars in state and matching federal funds to keep residency programs afloat. That means medical school graduates are leaving Arizona to complete their education programs in other states…and they typically don’t come back.