Health

Tuesday, Nov 20 2012 09:37 PM

Health care issues to be discussed here Tuesday

By The Bakersfield Californian

If you live in Bakersfield, you're more likely than most Californians to be obese, have diabetes or suffer from cardiac disease. And you're less likely than most Californians to be able to see a doctor any time soon.

These issues and others will be the subjects of a Zocalo Public Square panel discussion in Bakersfield next Tuesday night.

Kern County has 1,200 patients for every primary care physician, nearly double the national benchmark. With more than 3 million Californians getting health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the lines in the waiting room and the waits for appointments will only grow longer.

Can Bakersfield's overtaxed doctors handle this new influx? How can more doctors be recruited to the area -- and what will entice them to stay?

Kern Medical Center CEO Paul Hensler, University of California San Francisco Center for the Health Professions Associate Director Catherine Dower, and San Joaquin Community Hospital Vice President Jarrod McNaughton will visit Zócalo to discuss what's keeping doctors out of Bakersfield, and how to bring better health care in.

The discussion is 7 p.m. Nov. 27 at the Bakersfield Museum of Art, 1930 R Street.

Zocalo Public Square produces programs across California. Zocalo describes itself as a nonprofit "ideas exchange that blends live events and humanities journalism."

Zocalo is a project of the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and the New America Foundation. It based in Los Angeles and Phoenix.

Reservations are suggested but not required. To make a reservation, go online to http://www.zocalopublicsquare.org/event/?postId=40377.

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