Recent Bust of Alleged Prescription Drug Ring Adds to Reno's Doctor Shortage
The community continues to see impacts from the recent alleged prescription drug case, involving nine people. The closing of the Rand Family Practice in Reno is adding to the shortage of primary care physicians here.
Every medical practice that goes out of business here impacts us all. It adds to the fact that Reno has a historically low number of doctors across the board. And the recent bust of an alleged prescription drug ring here will impact hundreds of people directly and all of us indirectly,
"It's a difficult situation and it's going to get worse," said Dr. John Packham, Director or Health Policy Research at the University of Nevada, Reno.
In fact UNR's latest report on the medical workforce here was put out today. It shows we are still 50th in terms of family practitioners per capita.
Yet he says that there's no question - it was the right thing to do, closing down the practice.
"You have to look at the big picture with public health. And yes, that will hurt us but if the allegations are true its a net detriment to the public's health anytime you have a practitioner like that doping what he or she is doing."
"It's already hard to find a doctor here and now we have hundreds of those patients added to the waiting list," said Jennifer Snyder with Join Together Northern Nevada.
To address that Packham says the state is actively recruiting physicians.
"And we are doing a phenomenal job increasing the number of advanced physicians assistants here who work in primary care and in office settings. So we're addressing the primary care shortage in a variety of ways."
And the state is also expanding undergraduate and graduate medical education in hopes of adding to the workforce.