Citing a continuing shortage of primary care doctors in Alaska, a state commission recommends the state spend considerably more money to train new doctors and lure more already-qualified doctors to the state.
Exactly how many primary care physicians Alaska needs isn't clear, but it's certain we need more, said Dr. Ward Hurlburt, chief medical officer for the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services and chair of the Alaska Health Care Commission, which made the recommendations.
Getting more primary care doctors will help deal with the crisis in care for senior citizens on Medicare, too, the commission believes. Doctors say reimbursement rates for Medicare are too low, and many primary care physicians won't take new Medicare patients.
If there were more doctors available, though, they could spread the Medicare population around.
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