There are the beautiful upheld areas, but take a wrong turn and one could end up in an not-so-friendly neighborhood. That is, there are high-income parts of Philadelphia like Old City, Center City, and the luxurious Rittenhouse. Then on the completely opposite end of the spectrum there are the very low-income parts of Philadelphia, like in the West and North of the city. It is how our city is divided, but do we need to have a disparity in our health care system as well?
The division has effects on primary care availability. In the low-income parts, Penn researchers found a ratio of 3,000 adults for every one health-care provider. Penn's Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics believe this lack of primary care providers occurs primarily in Southwest, West, Northwest, Lower Northeast, Greater Northeast, and South Philadelphia/Grays Ferry. The study also found shortages in the number of primary health care providers that accept Medicaid in these areas. Whereas, in the high-income parts of Philadelphia, having to wait for an appointment is not an issue because the ratio of adults to health care provider is 300 to one.
This evidence suggests that a change is necessary in order to help our “brothers” and spread the love. It serves as a map and guide for expansion. It highlights the areas that would benefit the most in health care system and clinic expansions. The city is already making plans to improve this ratio. In the Lower Northeast, and other low income parts hospitals are finding ways to more efficiently cater to local Philadelphians. Trying to find a solution to minimize the gap between providers and adults is absolutely necessary with the expansion of the Medicaid program. Many improvements are already underway in an effort to increase the availability to primary care providers in low-income areas and decrease wait time for appointments. These improvements include creating more clinics in these areas of need and increasing accessibility by public transport. There are also plans to increase the number of exam rooms, which will allow providers to take on more patients per year.
Philadelphia needs to start to live up to its reputation as a city of brothers with amazing medical care. With the impending health care improvements to the numerous low-income parts of the city there is the potential for Philadelphia to start living up to its reputation. This is a group effort that could lead to an overall improvement in well-being and health of the city.