PNS Daily Newscast - Friday, August 23, 2019 

A federal court ruling changes how the President is elected, and Florida Democrats trigger a special session vote on guns. Those stories and more in today's news.

Daily Newscasts

Is There a Doctor in the House? Within a Mile? Within 50 miles?

February 28, 2007

The challenge: find a family care doctor in New Hampshire who is accepting new patients, or in rural areas, try to find a family doctor within 20 miles. There's a shortage, according to the Bi-State Primary Care Association. Dr. Philip Boulter of the New Hampshire Citizens Health Initiative says it's an expensive problem, because people without access to basic family and preventive care rely on more costly emergency room care, or a patched-together system.

"There's a quality issue when people see different doctors for different things and nobody's really coordinating their care across multiple specialties."

Because primary care doctors are in short supply, specialized care is more attractive financially, and most doctors finish medical school with student loans topping $150,000, Dr. Boulter thinks it would be smart for the state to adopt a plan to help pay off student loans for primary care doctors who come to New Hampshire.

"For every year you stay and practice in an underserved area of New Hampshire, New Hampshire will start to pay off your loan, to some degree."

He says it also could be a good way to "grow your own," since it encourages doctors to return to their communities after their education and training.

Deborah Smith/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - NH