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Dearth of Doctors Creates Hindrance to Obama Plans

Dearth of Doctors Creates Hindrance to Obama Plans

United States is currently experiencing a severe dearth of doctors and primary care physicians. The decrease of doctors is because of lesser Medicare compensation being offered. This has created a major hindrance before the formulation of Obama's health care propositions. This article enumerates the situation along with the solutions proposed by many experts.

The administration of Obama is now seriously disturbed because of the dearth of doctors in the country. They are now searching out for solutions to bring in more doctors and medical practitioners, in order to suffice the health care requirements of the senior citizens along with millions of uninsured citizens of the country. Shortage of physicians poses a chief hindrance to the implementation of Obama plans, as doctors are the main persons responsible for offering health care services to the patients.

Initially, it was suggested to raise the Medicare compensation to the primary care physicians so as to lure them to offer health care to the Medicare patients. But now this task seems to be difficult because of low budget.

Family physicians and those who are on medical internships are pressuring the Congress to elevate their Medicare compensation. However, many health care specialists are found to oppose such petitions which are filed to reduce their payments. As per them, the Congress must look out for other ways to increase payments for primary care physicians and not by sharing the payments of the specialists with them. This is generally a challenge to the Obama administration in view of the current recession.

Even if the number of doctors are increased by raising their Medicare compensation, then may be the health care of the country might not be threatened but it would be difficult to keep a control over the budget.

The reason for the demand of increased Medicare payments among doctors is to refund their educational loans, which they have taken from various banks to finance their expensive medical education. Fresh medical graduates are found to repay around $140,000 of their loan amount, and therefore increased payments are a must for them. Many doctors are even choosing to leave their profession, unless they get sufficient payments. This has in fact caused the deficiency of medical practitioners.

The result is that, those people who have Medicare are not able to access doctors to get required treatment. Even they are not able to get treatment from the available doctors because they disallow the lower Medicare compensation. In this case, their insurance coverage proves to be useless.

In order to counter the deficiency, the federal administrators are coming out with new propositions. The first proposition is to expand the intake of students in medical universities and internship programs. The second one is to deploy more number of nurses and medical assistants. While another proposition suggests the use of National Health Service Corps, for the allocation of nurses and physicians in the remote areas and the countryside, where there is dearth of medical services.

Many of the doctors who have been trained in primary care treatment are now opting for doing specialization in specific medical branches, such as cardiology, cancer treatment etc.

Sen. Max Baucus, who is the Chairperson of the Finance Committee, has stressed the importance of increasing payment for primary care doctors rather than the specialists. This is because, during the time of emergency, these doctors are only required to offer the primary care to the aged Medicare patients affected with chronic disorders like cardiac arrests, diabetes etc. Increasing Medicare compensation for the underpaid primary care doctors will help in eliminating the scarcity rate of doctors in the country.

Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has planned to increase the Medicare payments till 10% and has asked the Congress to cut other expenses on unnecessary medical expenses. This act has in fact agitated many specialists.

Association of American Medical Colleges has also aimed to increase the intake rate to Medical colleges and universities up to 30%, which ensures an extra output of 5,000 doctors yearly.

Although states like Massachusetts have succeeded in decreasing the rate of uninsured citizens but still it has been found to be useless, as there is huge dearth in the number of primary care physicians. Even the waiting periods for regular checkups from the available doctors have increased.

As by increasing spending on these doctors will result in a deficit of the reserve funds of the US government, many experts are thus trying to find solutions to increase the number of doctors without affecting the budget status of the country.

The administration of President Barack Obama is trying its best to revive the country's poor health care condition. It is spending millions of money in community medical centers to help the citizens avail quality health care services in times of need.


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