Physician shortage worsens in Hawaii 

Hawaii is short an estimated 509 to 820 physicians, which represents between 17 percent to more than 27 percent of the current workforce, according to an annual state report from the University of Hawaii.  

Hawaii has 10,510 licensed physicians, but just 2,974 full-time equivalent physicians are practicing in the state. Supply continues to fall below demand, which the report estimates as 3,522 physicians. Demand estimates are based on population data that includes health risk factors, national care delivery patterns and predictive analytics. 

Some of the state's shortages could be alleviated through better distribution because some areas of the state have physician overages, according to the report. However, due to the island geography, it is difficult for patients to take advantage of this. The range in physician shortage estimates are based on including and discluding the overages. 

Honolulu Star-Advertiser first covered the report, which found physician shortages are being exacerbated by physicians leaving the state. This year, at least 91 physicians retired, 123 decreased their work hours, four died and 152 left the state. 


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