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Phoenix Health Care Market Grapples with Population Boom, Sluggish Economy
FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:
ASHINGTON, D.C.—Rapid population growth, rising unemployment and a continuing influx of undocumented immigrants are pushing health care capacity to the brink in Phoenix, according to a new Community Report released today by HSC.
Hospitals, faced with significant capacity constraints, are struggling to find medical personnel, especially nurses. To meet the needs of the areas growing population, hospitals are investing millions of dollars to expand inpatient capacity. In the meantime, hospital capacity constraints are creating treatment delays, especially in emergency departments and for some elective surgeries. Specialty physicians unwillingness to provide on-call emergency department coverage has intensified capacity problems.
"The combination of population growth and medical personnel shortages is threatening access to care in Phoenix," said Paul B. Ginsburg, Ph.D., president of HSC, a nonpartisan policy research organization funded exclusively by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Other key findings of the report, Population Growth, Economic Downturn Stress Phoenixs Health Care Capacity, include:
Orange County is one of 12
communities across the country tracked intensively by HSC researchers through
site visits and surveys. The new report is based on an April 2003 site visit
and interviews with nearly 100 health care leaders, representing health plans,
employers, hospitals, physicians and policy makers.
The Center for Studying Health System Change is a nonpartisan policy research organization committed to providing objective and timely insights on the nations changing health system to help inform policy makers and contribute to better health care policy. HSC, based in Washington, D.C., is funded exclusively by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is affiliated with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.