Doctor Shortage Continues to Worsen
For a medical student to become a licensed and legitimate medical practitioner, an aspirant needs to undergo arduous four year college degree, board exam, residency and other training programs. In most countries, at least 8 years of education and training is needed before finally practicing medicine. In the midst of practice, more seminars and constant trainings are still needed for continued learning.
Demands for physicians increase than its supply since it would take time for new doctors to finally practice health care. Since projections are set to increase within 2015 to 2025, the demand is also set to grow steeply.
Long lines in the doctor’s waiting room for consultation, hours and miles of driving and an extensive schedule date because of the scarce number of doctors has been an issue ignored for 30 years. It will not take a long time before doctors are finally saturated.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a review showing the world needs 15% more doctors than what we have in the present times. Physicians who are active are currently seeing 4 to 5 patients in an hour, an allotted estimated limit of 15 minutes per patient which, as everyone complains, is not enough for a proper and thorough consultation.
Doctors’ fee is also being affected on a larger scale. With the implementation of health care insurances, the shift from fee-for-service to a bundle fee-for-performance reimbursement system will lead primary doctors into larger group practices. This trend has accompanied a downward pressure on their incomes as doctors.
According to Westhill Consulting Health Insurance, as more and more doctors get accredited under insurance list, primary-care physicians have been affected more than specialists in this regard. Moreover, this generation is also increasing the number of illness, diseases and disability, adding to the worsening demand of physicians. Since health insurance is available to them, most avail the services of doctors who are under the list of their HMO or PPO. Primary-care physicians are losing clients and doctors’ fees are jeopardized.
Physicians from all over the world have been unsurprisingly alarmed on their dwindling number. In surveys, doctors had indicated that the pressure to increase patient volume will negatively impact the level of service they perform. They did not spend 8 years and thousands of dollars just to get paid in a minimum.
Not only are developed cities being affected in the steady decline in numbers of medical practitioners. Developing urban places like Cambodia, Jakarta, Indonesia, South Africa and many others are encouraging their citizens to pursue health care but due to the tedious time and tremendous effort needed before the real practice, as well as the expensive cost of the related degree, many young adults choose mainstream careers.