Steps to Ease the NJ Doctor Shortage [AUDIO]
A New Jersey lawmaker holds a roundtable discussion today at Jersey Shore University Medical Center on how to stop the Garden State doctor shortage from getting worse.
"The red flags have been waving for some time over Jersey's doctor shortage, but it's likely to really hit a crescendo with the likely roll-out of Obamacare," says Assemblywoman Amy Handlin.
She says we have a shortage because of the enormously high cost of medical school, coupled with the high cost of living in the Garden State
"If you're a doctor practicing here, you really have to constantly be looking over your shoulder and worrying about what a jury might think of the decisions that you make."
Handlin also point out New Jersey's elderly population is rapidly growing, which will increase the need for doctors, but at the same time "many, many of our doctors, our current doctors are in fact nearing retirement age."
She says doctors are coming out of medical school with enormous debt.
"We have to be able to get at some of the root causes of this looming doctor shortage. You can make the claim that care is more affordable than ever, but it's not accessible if we don't have the doctors. We need tort reform legislation -we need to find ways of capping the awards that can be made and what constitutes malpractice- the Legislature needs to take action."