“Coverage Doesn’t Guarantee Access to Care”

That’s from Dr. Ronald Dunlap, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society. He’s commenting on a new survey showing:

The results are similar to last year’s survey that found 50 percent of family doctors and 51 percent of internists open to new patients in Massachusetts.

The average wait time for a non-emergency appointment with a primary care doctor in the latest survey is 39 days for family physicians, an improvement from 45 days last year. But the wait time to see an internist was 50 days, up from 44 days a year ago.

Comments (13)

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  1. Jimmy says:

    Still, either for primary care doctors or internists, that wait time seems a bit too long for anyone.

    • Dewaine says:

      Exactly, that is ridiculous. Chalk up an L for government run care.

    • JD says:

      This is the inevitable result of increasing demand/mandating a low price, shortages.

      • Dewaine says:

        Along with a likely decrease in other quality factors. I don’t know what the data looks like, but we can certainly assume that quality would be better in a system where you pay for what you get.

        • Jeff says:

          JD and Dewaine are exactly right, it is going to cause distortion in the market and cause major problem down the road.

  2. Tommy says:

    I’m tired of waiting for doctors. I’m tired of my health being jeopardized.

    • Craig says:

      Especially because we have to deal with all of the medical malpractice on top of insurance coverage issues on top of Obamacare. This is quite the stack of problems.

    • Howard says:

      Me too! Sick and tired of waiting for the day, then sitting in the waiting room forever….

  3. Sam says:

    And I thought they were long here in Texas.

  4. Linda Gorman says:

    Wait time for what? I want months for a checkup but can get a same day appointment.

    Apparently the people doing this don’t think that the kind of appointment makes a difference?

  5. Buster says:

    Our waiting times are also a function of how we license physicians. The medical profession has done a very good job of convincing the public that medicine is too important to be left to non-physicians. Thus, any medical board, any medical society is staffed by physicians who think nothing wrong with making all decisions in favor of boosting physician deference. The AMA has especially done a good job of erecting barriers to entry into the profession.

    • Dr. Mike says:

      -The states license physicians
      -Each state’s medical board only licenses physicians and physician’s assistants.
      -The nurse practitioners are licensed by the board of nursing. There are no limits being placed by physicians upon the education of nurse practitioners.
      -The federal government controls the funding for residency positions – graduating more medical students than there are residence slots available will result in highly educated but useless MDs.
      -The AMA represents less than 20% of actively practicing physicians. Over 80% of active physicians do not belong to the AMA.
      - Medical societies have no control over licensing of physicians