Devorah Goldman, writing in the Wall Street Journal, reports that her father’s rheumatology practice in Brooklyn has been swamped with patients from far-flung states because many other private practices have closed permanently.
Overregulation by medical authorities is destroying private medical practice.
In 1983, more than 75% of physicians owned their own practices. By 2018 that figure had dropped to 46%. Now, according to a 2020 survey by the Physicians Foundation, 12% of all U.S. doctors either closed their offices during the pandemic or were planning to do so within the year. Some 59% agreed that the pandemic would “lead to a reduction in the number of independent physician practices in their communities,” and half agreed that “hospitals will exert stronger influence over the organization and delivery of healthcare as a result” of the pandemic.
“[T]here are simply fewer places to seek care, and many of those that are available are bureaucratic mega-facilities.” Theodore Dalrymple lamented that government influence over medicine has been growing constantly. The UK government “now dictates conditions of work and employment, the number of hours worked, the drugs and other treatments that may be prescribed.” Doctors “are less and less members of a profession; instead, they are production workers under strict bureaucratic control.”