Wednesday, April 2, 2008

What's up doc? Support for national health care!

Chances are your doctor supports national health care. Check out a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The study shows a majority – 59 percent – of physicians support national health insurance.

“The findings reflect a leap of 10 percentage points in physician support for national health insurance (NHI) since 2002, when a similar survey was conducted,” according to officials of Health Care For All North Carolina. “At that time, 49 percent of all physician respondents said they supported NHI and 40 percent opposed it,” the group said.

Here’s more info from Health Care For All North Carolina: The study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine on Monday said that a survey conducted last year of 2,193 physicians across the United States showed 59 percent of them “support government legislation to establish national health insurance,” while 32 percent oppose it and 9 percent are neutral.

Support among doctors for NHI has increased across almost all medical specialties, said Dr. Ronald T. Ackermann, associate director of the Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research at Indiana University’s School of Medicine and co-author of the study.“

Across the board, more physicians feel that our fragmented and for-profit insurance system is obstructing good patient care, and a majority now support national insurance as the remedy,” he said.

Support for NHI is particularly strong among psychiatrists (83 percent), pediatric sub-specialists (71 percent), emergency medicine physicians (69 percent), general pediatricians (65 percent), general internists (64 percent) and family physicians (60 percent). Fifty-five percent of general surgeons support NHI, roughly doubling their level of support since 2002.

The study by the Indiana University researchers is the largest survey ever conducted among doctors on the issue of health care financing reform. It is based on a random sampling of names obtained from the American Medical Association’s master list of physicians throughout the country. The nation’s largest medical specialty group, the 124,000-member American College of Physicians, endorsed a single-payer national health insurance program for the first time in December.
Want to see more on the survey results? Go to Area doctors and patients, what do you think?