Survey: Physician Shortages at Children's Hospitals Reduce Access to Specialty Care

Physician shortages in children's hospitals are causing long wait times for children who need specialty care, according to a Children's Hospital Association report.

The data is from the Children's Hospitals Pediatric Specialist Workforce Survey, which was completed by 69 member hospitals of the Children's Hospital Association. The association was formed by Child Health Corporation of America, National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions and National Association of Children's Hospitals. 

The survey indicated a need for improved access to pediatric care. Some key findings include the following:

•    Children's hospitals reported physician vacancies of 12 months or longer in neurology (39 percent of hospitals surveyed), general surgery (30 percent) and developmental-behavioral medicine (28 percent), which affect the timely delivery of care.
•    Fifteen percent of respondents said shortages in neurology have the largest impact on their ability to deliver care.
•    Children may wait nearly 15 weeks for appointments in developmental-behavioral medicine, nine weeks in neurology and eight weeks in rheumatology.

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