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Letters: Not enough MDs in California

September 05, 2013

Re "Wide use of non-MDs is rejected," Sept. 2

The Legislature missed an opportunity to help the millions of Californians who face challenges accessing safe, high-quality and affordable healthcare services.

Our state's healthcare system is greatly overburdened. Under the Affordable Care Act, about 4.7 million more Californians will be eligible for health insurance, and about 1.4 million will be newly eligible for Medi-Cal. However, there are not enough trained medical professionals to appropriately care for these new patients, particularly those who need access to primary-care services.

The situation could be alleviated by allowing qualified, educated and trained nurse practitioners to practice to the full extent of their licenses within certain health settings.

The state's shortage of medical professionals will impact many Californians. Legislators must find solutions to ensure that all citizens have access to the care they need, when they need it.

Carmella Gutierrez


The writer is president of Californians for Patient Care.

Our state legislators have acted correctly in rejecting Sen. Ed Hernandez's (D-West Covina) proposal to permit nurse practitioners to practice without direct supervision by a physician. This would be like allowing auto mechanics to service passenger jets simply because they had some training on engines.

Certainly there are many ways nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists and optometrists can advance their knowledge and expand their scope of practice. For starters, they can attend medical or osteopathic schools, followed by several years of specialty residency, instead of political lobbying.

John T. Chiu, MD

Newport Beach


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