The Rich Are Monopolizing America's Health Care System Due To A Doctor Shortage

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Photo: Flickr / Fotos Gov/Ba

A doctor shortage is driving wealthy patients to dole out thousands for exclusive care, Bloomberg Businessweek’s Elizabeth Ody reports.We’ve reported the rich are spending thousands on luxury hospitals, but these patients are taking it to the next level, dropping nearly $30,000 annually for X-Ray-equipped rooms in their yacht, plane and home. 

In 2010, the Association of American Medical Colleges found there was a doctor shortage of 13,700 in the U.S. That number is expected to rise to 130,600 by 2025, the association says. 

For low-income and uninsured Americans, this could be the start of a downward cycle where access to care becomes limited as doctors take on fewer patients who are unable to pay for services. 

However, there are ways to deal with the problem. We recommend getting health care insurance to ensure you don’t miss a routine checkup and face onerous medical bills later on. 

Or if you’re currently uninsured, check whether your health care provider accepts local currency. For some Americans, this has literally been a lifesaver. 

Finally, don’t hesitate to shop around for a bargain at clinics and community health centres. According to YM contributor Karla Bowsher, many of these centres offer fees based on patients’ ability to pay. 

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