There are things about medical care in the Imperial Valley that are shocking. And contrary to
what we believe are the uninformed opinions, it’s not the quality of that care, but the quantity of those providing it.
A study released last week ranking Imperial County’s overall health put us low in the state, something many of us already know. We’re low on the list for all the reasons we know as well,
poverty and socioeconomic issues, education, diet, diabetes, obesity. The list goes on and on.
One of the largest determiners, however, is our lack of access to primary care doctors. There is only one primary care physician for every 2,400 people in Imperial County. It’s a shocking number when you think about the fact that San Diego County, our nearest neighbor, has one primary care doc for every 838 people.
Again, it’s not the quality, which is what you’ll hear local residents say over and over and over again. It’s the number. Such a disparity shows itself in time spent actually talking with a
physician in his or her office. It shows itself in the time spent in a waiting room. We think it even shows itself in the doctors who come for short periods and leave to other areas, where
they will see more private insurance patients.