Attracting younger physicians to Florida could help close health care access gaps and improve the state economy, according to a report from taxpayer watchdog Florida TaxWatch. The report calls for increasing the number of Graduate Medical Education programs, more commonly known as medical residencies, to attract additional doctors.
“Quality medical care is important not only for Florida residents, but also for economic growth,” said Dominic M. Calabro, President and CEO of Florida TaxWatch, the independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank. “As the state’s population continues to boom, we must invest in programs to attract and retain physicians to oversee Floridians’ care.”
Florida is expected to have shortage of 7,000 physicians by 2025, which will impact access to care. The state currently has nearly 43,000 doctors, but nearly 30 percent are 60 or older. Only 10 percent of Florida’s doctors are under the age of 35. The report notes that without attracting additional young doctors, the state’s physicians will not be able to meet demand for medical care.
In addition to improving health care access, Florida doctors are a driving economic force, responsible for $2.3 billion in state and local tax revenue in 2012. Florida physicians generate billions in sales, support more than 500,000 jobs and pay more than $40 billion in wages and benefits for their staffs.
Read the report here.