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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

For the sake of public health

Shortage of doctors hits MetroWest - Framingham, MA - The MetroWest Daily News
the Massachusetts Medical Society to discuss the primary care shortage.

In its latest survey of state doctors, released this week, the society found shortages of dermatologists, neurologists, urologists, vascular surgeons, OB/GYNs and, once again, the internists and family practioners who make up primary care.

In particular, this year the society found that 40 percent of family care doctors and 56 percent of internists are not accepting new patients, the highest proportions in the study's eight-year history.

Also, this year marks the first appearance of OB/GYNs on the shortage list, exacerbating the lack of internists and family doctors since many women rely on that specialty for routine care.

"With our state health reform initiative, we quickly learned that universal coverage doesn't equate to universal access," said Medical Society President Dr. Mario Motta, referring to a 2006 state law that has achieved insurance coverage for 97 percent of residents but strained the system.