Primary care shortage? It’s all relative

Kevin, MD called my attention to a USA Today op-ed he authored on the root cause of trouble in the US health care system: the shortage of primary care. I agree with Kevin that this is a serious issue. I know it’s a big problem in Boston.

But just to put things in perspective, at the meeting I’ve been attending in Kampala, Uganda I learned from a health ministry official from one African country that fewer than half the clinics in his country have a midwife, never mind a physician or nurse practitioner, and that many lack electricity or access to clean water. In Uganda there are 8 urologists for a population of about 25 million.

There used to be more health care workers available, but many have moved abroad to greener pastures.

It’s worth at least noting the impact overseas of the US’s reliance on imported physicians, nurses, etc.

March 14, 2008

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