Study: SWFL faces severe shortage of primary care physicians

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A new study shows Southwest Florida is severely lacking primary care physicians.

The Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida released a study Wednesday that explains Lee, Collier and Sarasota counties are facing a shortage of primary doctors.

A 2015 analysis found Florida would face a shortage of nearly 7,000 physicians through 2025.

Dr. Gay Goforth is helping to improve the demand by providing Southwest Florida with the first graduate education program at Lee Memorial Hospital. The program produces 24 doctors a year.

“The need is much greater than what I can do as a residence program,” Goforth said.

Gov. Rick Scott increased the funds for residency programs from $80 million in 2013 to $97 million. The extra money will help train and recruit the new generation of doctors.

“We know the population is growing, we know it’s an older population with more healthcare needs,” Goforth said. “There’s a lot of people working to make it better.”

The shortage prompted the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida to request additional funding in the state’s 2018-2019 budget proposal.

The Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida posted the entire study on Twitter:

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