“Why should I care about how much my doctor has to spend for insurance? Doctors make WAY more than I do, so can’t they afford it?” “In Chester County, PA, there isn’t a single fulltime neurosurgeon on staff at any of the county’s five hospitals, which serve 450,000 residents. There used to be six fulltime neurosurgeons in the county – before rising premiums drove them to other positions and other states. The last fulltime neurosurgeon to leave would have been forced to pay $283,000 for a single year’s coverage.
That neurosurgeon’s departure forced the closing of the county’s only certified trauma center at Brandywine Hospital – so now, patients who require immediate neurosurgical intervention must be transported elsewhere. While a helicopter can generally get a patient from Point A to Point B within the ‘golden hour’ of optimal care, sometimes weather makes flying impossible. So far, we’ve heard reports about six patients who’ve tragically died because a neurosurgeon wasn’t immediately available at a Chester County hospital.
It’s not that the hospitals in Chester County haven’t TRIED to recruit neurosurgeons – they’ve been trying for years. It’s that medical liability premiums in PA are so high in comparison to other states and that the possibility of being sued is so certain that no one (in his or her right mind) wants to practice there.”