BOSTON - Far more primary care providers are leaving the practice than are coming in, according to advocates at the state house Tuesday. So they are turning to the legislature to lobby for help. 

What You Need To Know

  • Primary Care providers have significant wait lists, that community health advocates say its at a crisis level    

  • They are asking for help from the legislature to fund their practices so they can pay doctors to stay in their positions. While also investing in the next generation of doctors. 

  • Right now more providers are leaving the field than coming into it causing a shortage. 

“Primary care is just tough to get people. And we try to get people off the waiting list, as much as we can. But that's why we're here today,” said Katherine Hoey of Kennedy Community Health. “To hopefully get some more support when we can open up more access.”

Advocates from Kennedy Community Health traveled to Boston to share their work with legislators. They provide primary care, urgent care, and dental health services in Worcester. While also sharing what has been difficult in their practices. Like getting people into see their providers who are overwhelmed with patients.

They’re asking for help from the legislature in terms of funding to pay providers what they deserve so they can continue to practice, as well as look to the future to make sure they can hire new talent. 

“We need to train up more providers and so we need a real focus on workforce, investments and, you create pipelines for doctors, dentists, behavioral health specialists,” said Lou Brady, president of Family Health Center of Worcester. “We need, to grow the next crop, of, providers so that, they're there to meet the need.”

Advocates say that they are in crisis now. The wait times to get into see providers is months if not years, causing people to go without. 

“I would say that the health centers are more than just about the delivery of health care really are about the cause of justice and equity,” said Brady. “These investments not only provide access to health care, but they make society our society a little bit fairer.”

Advocates are asking legislators for $75 million in short term funding to keep clinics running. They are hoping as deadlines to file next years budget are approaching. Local leaders will remember their needs.