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Patient First Reform needs to be passed

June 17, 2012
The Alpena News

Over the last year, Michigan has made great strides towards turning around the economy, improving the business climate for job makers and lowering the state's unemployment rate. Still, there is more work left to do. Patients in Michigan continue to be put at risk by an onerous legal environment that is driving many Michigan-born and Michigan-educated physicians into the waiting arms of our neighboring states.

Studies project that by 2020 the state of Michigan will have a physician shortage of over 4,500 doctors in fields like pediatrics, family practice, and general and internal medicine. What's more, many of Michigan's cities with the largest populations are at risk of becoming under served while more rural areas of our state are already facing this reality.

The Patients First Reform Package being discussed in Lansing is good legislation that will expand access to care for Michigan patients. Lawmakers should approve these important reforms today.

Dr. Robert Combs




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