DOVER, Del.- We’ve all heard about the shortage of nurses across the country. A new report by the Robert Graham Center predicts a primary car doctor shortage as well. And Delmarva is no exception. According to a recent study, the United States is expected to need 52,000 more primary care doctors by 2025.
Federally funded programs will add at least 2,3000 new primary care practitioners by the end of 2015 across the country. But funding for teaching hospitals will expire around the same time.
We found Gordon Smith of Felton on his way to a doctor’s appointment. He says he had no problems trying to set up the visit.
“I did not feel the crunch of the doctor shortage at that time,” said Smith.
He knows he is very fortunate. That’s because many people have been affected by the doctor shortage across the country.
“I think as we loose sight and allow the government to control more and more of our personal lives as well as our health care choices,” said Gordon. “Unfortunately we may have created a domino effect in that regard and it may just get worst.”
Bill Murphy of Dover on the other hand didn’t have the same luck.
“Just looking for qualified doctors that’s a chore too,” said Murphy.
Whenever he needs a doctor he says he has to do a bit of traveling.
“I still drive up to Wilmington to the doctor which I don’t like doing that,” said Murphy. “But the doctors around here are few and far between.”
Many believe the rising cost of education plays a factor.
According to a Robert Graham Center study, the average education debt for the class of 1992 was $50,000. In 2012 that cost sky rocketed to an average of $170,000.
“The way I see it it’s too darn expensive for a young person to get into it,” said Murphy.
Although federal funds are expected to help this problem, many say they are skeptical about the outcome.
“Where is the money going to come from?” questioned Murphy. “Then you have to think about that.”
“I’m concerned about the future,” said Smith. “I think that sounds like a very good incentive but at the same time it’s trying an antidote, a fix for something for a problem that may have already been set in motion.”