Attracting Doctors to Colorado, Pt. 1

March 11, 2009

A bill making its way through the state legislature aims to help recruit doctors to Colorado, specifically to work in under-served areas. Today we begin a three-part series from KCFR Health Reporter Eric Whitney that takes a look at doctors in Colorado, efforts to recruit them, and the effects felt by residents needing primary care.

The head of the state health department says Colorado needs about 200 more physicians to adequately serve its population. Federal ratios show more than a million Coloradans live in under-served areas. Unaffordable health insurance has a lot to do with that. Physicians can't make a living where people can't pay. Publicly-funded clinics help fill the gap, but it's still not easy to recruit doctors to some of the state's outlying areas. KCFR Health Reporter Eric Whitney visited a clinic in Craig, which has spent years recruiting just one doctor to serve a place where health care is particularly hard to find.