The supply of available doctors in Michigan is decreasing, according to findings from the 2008 Michigan Department of Community Health Survey of Physicians. About 62 percent of physicians providing patient care in Michigan report their practice is full or nearly full, compared to 42 percent of physicians in 2005.
About a third (34 percent) of active physicians are primary care doctors whose specialty is in family practice, general medicine, internal medicine, or general pediatrics. This percentage has not changed since 2005.
“We know from numerous studies that access to primary care is the key to improving our healthcare system. Unless we have adequate numbers of primary care physicians and put primary care at front and center of our healthcare system, we can expect higher costs and poorer health outcomes in the years ahead” said Carol Callaghan, coordinator of the Michigan Primary Care Consortium.
The 2008 survey findings also show that the percentage of physicians providing care to Medicaid patients is declining, and availability of services for patients with low incomes is limited.