Think About It: Is There A Doctor in The House? - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

April 2, 2018

Think About It: Is There A Doctor in The House?

What's up, doc? Well, according to a report from WalletHub last week, not much for local doctors. Hawaii is ranked as the 48th best state in which to practice medicine, according to the report, which looks at 16 key metrics to render its rankings. Hawaii ranks 50th out of 50 states plus the District of Columbia in annual wages for physicians (adjusted for cost of living); we also rank 50th under the "opportunity and competition" category.  Ironically, Hawaii was ranked #1 in 2017 for health care among all states.

So while the general public seems to be in pretty good shape in terms of help provided locally, it's apparently awfully tough to make it here as a doctor based on salaries, insurance, hospital quality and other criteria. Want proof? Hawaii ranks #1 in outcomes, according to the WalletHub data, yet we rank just 42nd in terms of access. Ever tried getting in to see a specialist here? Yeh, it's real tough on Oahu, and sometimes there are no Neighbor Island specialists in various categories.

We have the 4th highest percentage nationwide of people medically insured, which is good, we have the lowest heart disease rate of any state, which is fine, but we simply don't have some of the necessities that would make Hawaii a more attractive place in which more specialists and doctors want to practice. With an aging population and obvious pitfalls in rural areas, this situation will only become more acute in the years to come. How the state and other stakeholders address some of the shortfalls will go a long way in seeing if we can recruit not only who is needed, but also where they are needed for the benefit of the local population. Think about it…

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