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Surgical Groups Form 'Operation Patient Access: Quality Surgical Care for All' to Call Attention to Escalating Workforce Shortage
Date:3/24/2009

WASHINGTON, March 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Surgical groups, led by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), along with other key health care stakeholders, today announced the formation of Operation Patient Access: Quality Surgical Care for All, an effort to bring into focus the urgent issues facing access to quality surgical care in the United States. With nearly 400 surgeons from around the country meeting with their elected representatives today, they will call attention to urgently needed policy changes to address gaps in the availability of quality surgical patient care.

"As policymakers examine how to reform this country's health care system in the midst of the current economic crisis, there is a growing concern that the focus on cost controls will dominate discussions and decisions to the extent that access to quality surgical care will be further compromised," said L.D. Britt, MD, FACS, Chair, ACS Board of Regents. "Operation Patient Access is designed to help policymakers understand that patient access to quality surgical care is at risk and that we want to work with them to craft workable solutions that address access problems while preserving and improving high-quality surgical care."

The shortage of general surgeons in the US has been well-documented and continues to be a major concern because these surgeons are mainstays in rural parts of the country and also staff trauma centers in urban areas. Operation Patient Access released new information today that shows that the shortage and the resulting gaps in access to care are actually getting worse:

  • The American College of Surgeons Health Policy Institute issued trend information in a new unpublished report that highlights research indicating the shortage of general surgeons has raised concerns about the access to care for underserved and rapidly aging populations in pockets of both rural and urban areas of the United Sta
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SOURCE American College of Surgeons
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