by Ashton Goodell
Monday, February 15, 2010
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Health care groups fear the state's shortage of health professionals will become critical if something isn't done about high turnover rates.
Health providers have a hard time hiring and keeping professionals in Alaska's rural communities.
The shortage of primary care doctors and dentists in rural areas also makes it difficult for senior citizens on Medicare to find care.
Some doctors refuse to see Medicare patients, because they claim they don't get reimbursed enough to cover costs.
Today, heath care recruiters discussed a plan to offer incentives to get more doctors and nurses to come to Alaska.
"Even though the communities are great places to live… they don't have the time to really get involved with that. The doctors are pulling massive on-calls, the nurses are pulling a lot of overtime and the overtime is expensive," said Pat Sammartino with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.