Massachusetts Medical Society: Massachusetts Medical Society on MGB currently not accepting new primary care patients

Massachusetts Medical Society on MGB currently not accepting new primary care patients

The Massachusetts Medical Society is deeply concerned by the announcement that the state’s largest hospital system currently cannot accept new primary care patients at its Boston practices because of a mounting workforce shortage.

The dearth of primary care physicians in Massachusetts is no longer a looming public health threat. It is here and represents a major public health crisis that requires urgent and sustainable financial investment and actions aimed at recruiting and retaining primary care physicians.

Decreased access to and relationships with a primary care physician will lead to poorer outcomes for patients, especially those from historically underserved populations and those with chronic illnesses and disabilities. Loss of primary care options will compound existing challenges with overcrowded emergency departments and, ultimately, increase the cost of delivering health care.

Among other measures, we must reduce the cost of training new primary care physicians, advocate for changes that bolster the sustainability of practices that prioritize quality over volume and that reduce causes of burnout, including unnecessary administrative burdens. We want to promote primary care to enhance wellness and prevention, and to care for patients acutely and with chronic illnesses, all of which require invaluable time with patients and will eventually lower our cost of health care.

The Massachusetts Medical Society looks forward to continuing our collaboration with all stakeholders to address this crisis and build a robust and diverse primary care workforce equipped to deliver accessible quality care to the Commonwealth.

-Barbara S. Spivak, MD, President, Massachusetts Medical Society

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