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Bill to Expand Primary Care Access Gains Support

WWLP — SPRINGFIELD, Massachusetts People all around the state are finding it harder and harder to get access to primary care physicians, but a new measure has the potential to make things differently.

The Springfield City Council approved a resolution on Monday night endorsing the legislation known as “Primary Care for You.

According to Wayne Altman, the founder of the Massachusetts Primary Care Alliance for Patients,

"Good luck trying to find another PCP if your primary care physician retires or leaves." "I believe that most people have encountered the challenge of trying to locate a new primary care physician."


The loss of services throughout the state has left Massachusetts with a crisis in primary care access. According to data from the Massachusetts Primary Care Alliance for People, a third of the state’s primary care workforce is over 60, and the number of doctors leaving the profession is increasing, which is placing pressure on the healthcare system and making it more difficult for people to access care.

About 80 percent of the 160 primary care doctors in the City of Springfield, in western Massachusetts, do not take on new patients. A resolution endorsing a state measure named “Primary Care For You,” which would boost funding for the primary care system and promote health equity, was approved by the Springfield City Council on Monday night.

“When you invest in something that gives you better help for less money, not only can we slow down the rate at which Springfield’s healthcare costs are rising, but we might actually see the day when healthcare becomes less expensive,” continues Altman.

Better access to primary care services would help lessen the load on emergency rooms, Altman told 22News.

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