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May 24th, 2012

New Jersey Facing Physician Shortage Crisis

New Jersey is treacherous ground for physicians and if legislators do not do something to fix the problem, the state will soon see a mass exodus of doctors.  AnnMarie McDonald of the New Jersey Lawsuit Reform Alliance recently published a blog post warning of the negative impacts of this phenomenon. 

In her piece, McDonald compares the small state to its other much larger counterparts.  Comparing New Jersey to Ohio, for instance, is revealing: despite having a population which exceeds New Jersey’s by two and a half million, the Garden state had 630 medical liability claims in 2011 to Ohio’s 287.  New Jersey even managed to surpass Texas, which has nearly three times the number of residents, in the number of medical liability claims last year (Texas had 550 claims in 2011, in case you were wondering).

“A physician shortage crisis is right around the corner in New Jersey if we do not take immediate steps to change course,” J. Richard Goldstein, president and CEO of the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals, said in a 2010 news release. “National health reform, while laudable and needed, will only work to accelerate the time when there simply will not be enough doctors to serve New Jersey’s adults and children.”

Should meaningful medical liability reforms continue to stagnate, despite Dr. Goldstein’s warnings, New Jersey will continue to educate other states’ physicians, at the cost access to care for New Jersey’s residents.

 

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