Tri-Cities Experiencing Shortage of Primary Care Physicians - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tri-Cities Experiencing Shortage of Primary Care Physicians

Posted: Updated:

Kennewick -- Finding a primary care doctor in the Tri-Cities is not as easy as it once was.  There's a shortage, and Theresa Long with Kennewick General Hospital said Monday that it isn't likely to end soon.

While access to emergency room and specialized care physicians is not a problem for patients, finding good primary care doctors is becoming more difficult.  Long cites recruitment issues.  She says appealing to doctors to relocate to the Tri-Cities can be a challenge.  And there are other obstacles to overcome. 

"It also depends on hospitals and how much competition there is, as far as other physicians and facilities to practice it."

Long said recruitment at Kennewick General Hospital in particular, is affected by space limitations.  But, she added, once the new hospital is built, it will be easier to attract primary care physicians.

She advises patients who are looking for a doctor to phone one of the KGH clinics.  The hospital has access to 32 primary care doctors, and can set up patients with proper care.