Doctor shortage in NM expected to worsen

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico officials say the state is facing its worst shortage of primary care providers at a time when thousands are expected to enroll in state and federal health insurance exchanges.

The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1eNd3dO ) that the federal government has designated every county statewide, except one, as having a shortage.

The latest figures show the state has 1,429 active primary physicians but another 219 are needed, based on the population.

That need will only increase with 160,000 new Medicaid patients expected this year and residents purchasing coverage under the Affordable Health Care Act.

Gov. Susana Martinez and state lawmakers are hoping to get approval for proposals to bridge the doctor gap. In recent months, Martinez unveiled a $5 million package of initiatives to go before this year's legislative session.

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Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com

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