Regional
12:49 pm
Sat June 22, 2013

New Mexico Facing Doctor Shortage

A shortage of primary care physicians in some parts of the country is expected to worsen as millions of newly insured Americans gain coverage under the federal health care law next year.

Doctors could face a backlog, and patients could find it difficult to get quick appointments.

According to a state legislative report, New Mexico residents could have trouble accessing medical care due to the potential need of 2,000 physicians, 3,000 registered nurses and as many as 800 dentists. State lawmakers didn't act this year on a plan that would have allowed dental therapists to practice in the state.

An association representing dentists opposed the measure, although supporters said therapists would help address the state's shortage of dentists.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.