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Hemorrhaging doctors

From the Editor

Wilton’s personal lament is heard across the state.

Indeed, where are all the doctors going to go once Shumlincare becomes a reality here? The likelihood of health-care rationing in Vermont is finally dawning on many local doctors.

“Green Mountain Care will essentially be Medicaid/Medicare for all,” Wilton said. “Where will the cost shift go? This is the essential reason why the governor’s plan will cost more and cannot cost less without serious rationing, regardless of any savings we can achieve. Having disclosure on the financial plan sooner than 2013 is important for Vermonters to understand the impact of these changes.”

The Rutland County area has lost several prominent primary care physicians since 2009, according to Wilton: Doctors Bucksbaum, Emerson, Garcia, Krupnick, Messina, and Tager (plus add to that list Wilton’s own primary care physician).

“Older docs are going to close up shop as they retire and won’t be replaced,” Wilton noted. “Some of the recent doctor out-migration has been due to financial pressure and uncertainty created by state policies. Rutland Regional Medical Center has long been concerned about the difficulties of attracting new physicians outside of Fletcher Allen; that’s likely true throughout the state.”

In short, attracting and keeping a skilled physician resource in Vermont is essential to our access to quality health care.

“Canada rations care by instituting global (capped) budgets and restricting the number of practicing physicians and other health-care professionals,” Wilton added.

So is this the kind of government-controlled health care we really want in Vermont? If Gov. Shumlin and his majority in Montpelier gets its way, the answer will be yes.

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