Access transformed: Building a primary care workforce for the 21st century
Authors/Editors: NACHC, George Washington University, and the Robert Graham Center
Publication date: 2008
Number of pages: 40
“…..Pressure to reform the U.S. health care system is mounting in the face of growing numbers of uninsured individuals, widening health care disparities, and the rising cost of care – factors that fuel increasingly restricted access to needed health care for millions of people. Yet the success of any health reform effort will entail more than achieving universal insurance coverage; it must include a robust and evenly distributed primary care workforce, along with adequate safety net infrastructure and financing for those who are medically underserved. The national trend so far indicates we are not only falling short of that goal, but retreating from it.
Indeed, what we face is a crisis of distribution in terms of the primary care workforce to meet local health needs. In short, there are not enough doctors, nurses, and other primary care professionals in the communities where they are most needed. The current supply of primary care professionals is already being outpaced by rising demand, and our national health care system is notorious for providing America’s most vulnerable and chronically ill limited access to primary health care….”