Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

July 1, 2013

Some optimistic despite doctor shortage concerns

Effingham has long been known as a regional health care hub. But a local physician says the impending influx of newly insured people might not keep the area from having to endure a shortage of physicians.

"There's always been a concern," said Dr. David Kowalski. "But Effingham has been very blessed over the years."

Kowalski, who practices out of Marshall Clinic in Effingham, said the quality of area health care has been fueled by the triad of a strong hospital, patients who can pay, and a wide variety of physicians, some of whom have been in the area for decades.

"That triangle has served this area very well," Kowalski said.

Nationwide, the shortage of doctors is expected to increase from 40,000 to 65,000 in the next 10 years. The increased shortage is attributed to the influx of people receiving health insurance as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

"It's a huge concern," said Kowalski, who is also president of the St. Anthony's Memorial Hospital Medical Executive Committee. "With 32 million people (nationwide) becoming eligible for insurance, the situation will get even worse."

While community leaders have long tried to recruit prospective physicians with a vision of Effingham as a small, family-friendly community, Kowalski said the reality is a bit different.

"It's not easy to recruit to rural areas across the board," he said. "Most doctors seem to prefer living in urban areas. I am concerned we will be not be able to maintain the supply of excellent physicians in Effingham that we currently have."

Kowalski said one problem is that the 1997 Balanced Budget Act froze the number of medical residencies funded through the Medicare program.

"Since 1997, we have 50 million more people in the United States, but we have not increased the number of residency opportunities," he said.

Kowalski said both the American Medical Association and Illinois State Medical Society are lobbying for an amendment to the act that would fund more residency opportunities. Meanwhile, he said an increase in the level of mid-level medical professionals is working to cover an ever greater shortage of full-fledged doctors.

Text Only
Local News
  • ADM donates to Blessings in a Backpack Archer Daniels Midland Company recently donated $1,000 to Effingham’s Blessings in a Backpack program. The donation will go toward purchasing food for area students for the coming school year.“Support and partnerships with area businesses are a stron

    August 21, 2014

  • golf Golf benefit raises $36K The Friends of St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital’s 6th Annual Golf Benefit was held July 18 at the Effingham Country Club. The event, which evolved through a partnership with Jonathan Kabbes and “Golf for a Cure” held in 2009 and 2010, netted $36,000 t

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nursing students make dean's list Students who are enrolled in at least six credit hours at Lakeview College of Nursing and who achieve a GPA of 3.6 or higher on a 4.0 scale are named to the dean’s list for the semester. Students recently receiving that honor include the following: B

    August 21, 2014

  • Heartland hosts depression presentation Heartland Human Services will host the presentation "Fed Up With Depression? (Discover The Foods That Can Help You Heal)" at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26, by the agency's psychiatrist, Dr. Rhoda Gottfried, MD, entitled, along will her husband, Dr. Sam

    August 21, 2014

  • Stocks advance for third day, despite Fed minutes NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market rose for a third straight day Wednesday despite a report from the Federal Reserve that showed a growing chorus of central bank officials willing to raise interest rates sooner rather than later.In the bond market, pri

    August 21, 2014

  • $500K coming to sports complex

    In a 3-2 vote Tuesday, Effingham City Council narrowly approved $500,000 in hotel/motel tax revenue to help fund the construction of the Richard E. Workman Sports and Wellness Center during a meeting in which the council approved funds for other entities as well.

    August 20, 2014

  • Shimkus not taking anything for granted despite past electoral success

    U.S. Rep. John Shimkus  hasn't had a serious election challenge in more than a decade. But the longtime congressman said he's not taking anything for granted, even though his sprawling district appears tailor-made for continued Republican representation.

    August 19, 2014

  • Power out in Effingham subdivision; cause not yet known

    A small number of Ameren electric customers on the west side of Effingham were out of power this morning.

    August 19, 2014

  • Unit 40 presents $57k deficit Thanks to a series of personnel moves, Unit 40 officials have estimated a $57,136 deficit for the school year — much less than the $834,000 deficit the previous year. With this year’s expected revenue at $28,695,717 and expenditures coming in at $28,

    August 19, 2014

  • 8-16 bank robber 2.jpg Police seek suspect after Marshall bank robbery

    Police from several agencies were seeking a man suspected of robbing a bank in Marshall Friday morning.

    August 15, 2014 2 Photos

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.