Doctor: Critical shortage of primary care physicians in CT is a ‘public health emergency'

Doctors across the state are urging federal lawmakers to pass "meaningful Medicare payment reform" and to create incentives for young doctors to enter family practice.

Frank Recchia

Jun 21, 2024, 4:26 PM

Updated 33 days ago

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A doctor says Connecticut is facing "a public health emergency" that will impact virtually every person in the state over the next decade.
Dr. Rohan Bhojwani -- who just opened a primary care practice in Shelton -- says Connecticut is stepping across a very dangerous threshold.
He says public health officials predict America will be short almost 50,000 family doctors over the next decade.
According to Bhojwani, Connecticut is currently ranking among states where the shortage is growing faster than the national average.
"We are supposed to have one physician for every 2,000 people, but we are falling way short of that -- and if this is not addressed right away, you or your loved one will not have a doctor to prescribe your medication,” Bhojwani said. “This is a health care emergency which needs to be looked at right away.”
In addition to being a medical doctor, Bhojwani also has a master’s in business administration. He says you don't need fancy credentials to see how a severe shortage of primary care doctors can lead to a public health crisis.
"We are in a health care emergency, and if we don't tackle the health care issues -- especially obesity and lifestyle that we follow -- our generation is going to face a very bad outcome, and we will start seeing deaths right, left and center,” he added.
Bhojwani says as older family doctors retire, fewer young physicians are entering family practice because insurance companies reimburse primary care providers at a much lower rate than they do for doctors who specialize in other areas.
Meanwhile, he believes a crucial step in finding a path forward will be persuading young physicians to enter family practice.
“Come back to the grassroots and try to engage with the community and look at the far-reaching and long-term effects of preventive care as a primary care specialist."


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