Thursday, June 17, 2010

Addressing the Shortage in Primary Care

Much has been said (see below) about the shortage of primary care professionals -- something that is critical to people with chronic illnesses. Yesterday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it will spend $250 million on programs designed to increase the number of primary care doctors, nurses, and other health professionals. This includes $168 million to train 500 new primary care doctors, $30 million to encourage 600 nursing students to attend school full-time and complete their degrees, and $32 million to train 600 new physicians assistants. Although this is a small step, it is the first step in the right direction. Projections are that there will be shortage of anywhere from 21,000 to 47,000 primary care professionals in 2020 if we don't do anything to address this workforce shortage. Jennifer

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