No docs for those in need

Poor areas like the San Joaquin Valley have high doctor-to-patient ratios

Californians most in need of health care have the least access, concludes a recently released California HealthCare Foundation report.

The Council on Graduate Medical Education recommends having 60 to 80 primary care physicians and 85 to 105 specialists per 100,000 people, according to The Bay Area met those ratios, with 86 primary care physicians and 175 specialists per 100,000 people in 2011. But the San Joaquin Valley—an area with more poor, uninsured residents—had just 48 primary care doctors and 80 specialists for the same number of people.

Doctor-to-patient ratios were also low in the Inland Empire, while California’s far-northern counties barely met recommended levels. These areas could experience doctor shortages this year as demand rises under the Affordable Care Act.