Now’s the time to start addressing doctor shortages in RI, before it’s an emergency.
G. Wayne Miller’s headline in the Providence Journal tells you about all you need to know about the article: “‘People are burned out’: RI faces a doctor shortage that could get worse.”
Rhode Island is facing a shortage of doctors, which has made finding a physician in some specialties more difficult and could inhibit easy access to medical care unless changes are made.
That’s the warning from local health-care leaders, who see in Rhode Island a reflection of a national shortage many are calling a growing crisis.
“We are seeing delays in getting people care the way we physicians and our patients would like,” Dr. Peter Hollmann, chief medical officer for Brown Medicine, told The Journal.
“It is very difficult to find a primary care physician across all patient ages,” said Dr. Elizabeth B. Lange, who practices at Coastal Medical’s Waterman Pediatrics office.
Naturally, the advocates take the opportunity to stump for their own special interests, saying we need loan forgiveness for medical degrees, more federal money, and so on. While the cost of becoming a doctor and earnings may be part of the equation, these solutions come at the problem from the wrong direction.
There’s a reason WalletHub ranked Rhode Island dead last among states for being a doctor. Look through the measures used in the methodology and you’ll see plenty of areas in which Rhode Island could improve without treating doctors as a special interest and without really costing anybody anything except the special interests who are already leeching off the system (which includes, of course, politicians).