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Pennsylvania Medical Society President Sees Doctor Shortage On The Horizon

By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – The head of the Pennsylvania Medical Society foresees an at least temporary shortage of doctors as the new federal health care law continues to roll out.

“One of the problems we will have – we can’t just turn a spigot and suddenly we’re going to have a bunch more primary care physicians pop out. It doesn’t work that fast.”

So Dr. Bruce MacLeod, president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society, says for a while, a shortage of primary care doctors will be likely.

“I think there’ll be, perhaps, longer waits to get into a primary care physician’s office,” he said.

MacLeod also says only after the newly insured are in the system will it be known what kind of extra specialists or surgeons might be needed. As to whether he supports simply expanding the existing Medicaid program or Governor Corbett’s hybrid proposal, using Medicaid dollars to offer private insurance to another 500,000 Pennsylvanians.

MacLeod says expanding coverage is what’s important and there’s no clear evidence which approach is best.

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