Forum for Justice in Health Policy: Primary Care Challenges and Solutions - Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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Forum for Justice in Health Policy: Primary Care Challenges and Solutions

May 12, 2023

On May 12, 2023 Health & Medicine hosted a virtual forum focused on challenges facing primary care.

View a recording of the forum here!

Background on the forum:

Primary care is meant to be the first and most stable point of contact between patients and care providers. Yet with a shortage of providers, the relative lack of racially and ethnically diverse providers, the complications of health insurance, corporate investment in primary care, the ongoing pandemic, and a myriad of other factors, primary care is at a crisis point. 

Even when one is insured—unjustly, many aren’t—accessing health care can be a significant challenge.  Wait times, taking leave from work, finding childcare, transportation, dealing with high costs, experiencing discrimination and disrespect in medical settings, mis- or distrust of the medical system, are all personal barriers. There are not enough primary care providers to see the patients who otherwise have access to care, and the ones we have are being pushed to their limits. The patient/primary care provider relationship is eroding.

This forum, hosted by Health & Medicine Policy Research Group, included a discussion of the structural issues facing primary care and what the future might look like from a political, community health, and medical education perspective. We explored steps to surmount such obstacles as the barriers keeping many prospective health care workers out of primary care, access issues, and burnout among providers.

Where do we go from here, to create a primary care system that better serves patients and health care providers alike?