Somebody Get Me A Doctor - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

March 10, 2008

Somebody Get Me A Doctor


We're purportedly running out of doctors in Hawaii. Well, at least in some areas, there is a dangerous shortage of specialists and even general practitioners, which also invariably means that  the docs handling the load are working too long and probably too hard. Mistakes do happen, and doctors are human, too. Reasons given for the physician shortage include the cost of insurance for practitioners, the cutbacks in reimbursements from insurance companies, and the general cost of doing business in Hawaii.

Scoff at this problem at your own risk- literally- because one day you might make a call and find out that nobody's home, or in the office. It's the  rural areas, the windward side, the Neighbor islands; the spread of this doctor shortage is being felt all over our state. Would you believe that Maui is the only Neighbor Island with even one neurosurgeon?! I guess you wouldn't know that until you really needed it, which might be too late. Perhaps this cry of concern in Hawaii is simply our local anguish as part of the nationwide plague that is known as the decaying health care system. Like a tough-to-stop necrosis, it's eating away at our society, and with an aging population, it's not going away. It's a big election year issue, and maybe Hawaii's legislators and professional organizations- medical and insurance- can lead the way to finding some methodology to at least slow down the increasing number of "closed" signs at doctor's offices in Hawaii. Think about it..

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