There’s No Doctor Shortage, Study Says
The number of doctors practicing in Central Texas has increased in the last 10 years. That’s according to a study by a UT-San Antonio surgeon, Ronald Stewart. He says the number of physicians in Austin, and across the state, surged after the 2003 Texas Legislature limited how much money juries could award in medical malpractice and other cases.
Stewart’s study says increases in the number of doctors have outpaced general population growth, and Austin now has 216 doctors per 100,000 people. That’s more doctors per capita than in Dallas but fewer than Houston or San Antonio.
But advocates for the Travis Central Health District Proposition 1, which proposes a property tax increase to help fund a medical school, take issue with Stewart’s study.
“This study by the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio shows a recent, general increase in doctors, but many other studies show that, with population growth and a ‘silver tsunami’ increase in older residents under way locally, we will have a shortage in the near future – especially among primary care doctors and in many critical medical specialties,” said Greg Hartman, president and CEO of Seton Medical Center Austin and University Medical Center Brackenridge, in a statement.