Hawaii’s doctor shortage is taking ‘a troubling turn for the worse’

Hawaii’s doctor shortage is taking ‘a troubling turn for the worse’
File photo of a doctor in Hawaii (Source: JABSOM)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii’s doctor shortage is taking “a troubling turn for the worse” because an alarming number of physicians are leaving the state, the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine says.

According to the latest physician workforce data, there are roughly 2,819 physicians in the state. That’s a decrease of 108 practicing physicians over the past year.

Forty-nine physicians retired over the year, unsurprising given more than a quarter of Hawaii doctors are older than 60.

But perhaps the most concerning find: 39 doctors left the state.

JABSOM and state leaders are working on several solutions, including a state loan repayment fund and a tax credit for private health professionals who train learners. JABSOM said it’s also increasing admission and is also working on a plan to branch out to neighbor islands.

Experts say the state needs around 600 to 800 more doctors to adequately support the population.

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