Health Department report shows problem in city's health care system

Even with more than 30 hospitals, parts of Philly are "primary care shortage areas."

Pat Loeb
October 22, 2018 - 4:43 pm
The Philadelphia Health Department released a report showing a surprising problem in large parts of the city.

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) – The Philadelphia Health Department released a report showing a surprising problem in large parts of the city. 

In a city with more than 30 hospitals and five medical schools, it might seem that proximity to basic health care would not be a problem. 

But the new report finds that parts of the Northeast and Southwest are officially "primary care shortage areas," with one provider for every 3,500 people, far below the citywide average of one per 1,200 people. 

These tend to be low-income areas with high proportions of racial and ethnic minorities. 

The health department says it plans to expand services to these areas as funding becomes available, and it's urging private health systems to do the same. 

Officials say access to primary care improves health outcomes and reduces overall health costs.