The U.S. Primary Care Shortage
From Heartland Institute:
The Heartland Institute’s health care policy advisor Sarah Lee interviews Courtney Joslin, resident fellow in commercial freedom at Washington, DC’s R Street Institute, on how medical licensing reform can address the shortage in primary care physicians.
Due to a number of factors, the U.S. is currently facing a shortage on primary care physicians that will see some states with shortages that number in the hundreds. Given the already over-taxed emergency rooms and overworked existing primary care clinics and physicians, this is a problem that could become increasingly difficult to solve if something isn’t done soon.
Courtney Joslin, an expert in commercial freedom, joins The Heartland Institute’s Health Care News podcast to discuss the issue and its seriousness — and to offer what she says could play a role in helping alleviate the problem before it gets out of hand. Medical licensing reform — specifically expanding the scope of practice of licensed professionals such as physicians assistants, pharmacists, and registered nurses, who already work alongside primary care physicians, could address the shortage until academia and the marketplace catch up to make primary care an attractive field again to young medical professionals.
By allowing these professions to take on an expanded role, it helps over worked doctors, and frees up these professions to grow accordingly. And, most importantly, it makes licensed and trained health care professionals available to undeserved areas in desperate need of quality health care.