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Subject:  Re: Caliphornia: Doctor Shortage Date:  2/11/2013  8:55 PM
Author:  Vetiver Number:  1859139 of 2207478

"There aren't enough doctors to treat a crush of newly insured patients"

My uncle was a doctor in Puerto Rico. He was on the southern side of the island and the only doctor within a couple of dozen miles. I went to visit him once, we were going to go to the beach but he had to go into the office first. He had about a hundred people or so waiting for him when he got to the office. I assumed that were weren't going to the beach today but he dispatched with them in about 3 hours. Basically the nurses provided all of the treatment on most patients, he reviewed their work and only directly dealt with a few.

A big problem with healthcare in this country is the large dichotomy between being a doctor and not. For most illnesses, a nurse or a pharmacist is completely capable of dealing with the issue but if they need a prescription, a doctor has to get involved in most states. In Cal they have doctors that do nothing but write prescriptions for marijuana. Cal also has a perpetual "water shortage" but is the only place on the planet where people grow rice in a desert. The state could end the water shortage in a nanosecond by fining farmers with standing water in their fields (necessary for growing rice) on 110 degree days. The state could allow marijuana for recreational use as Washington State has and that would literally free up thousands of doctors. The state could let pharmacists write their own prescriptions for minor illnesses (as Florida does); they could expand the role of nurses.

Having a doctor shortage because lots more of the people have access to a doctor is a good problem to have, ne? The solution won't be so hard.

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