With a massive expansion of the country’s medical care system under way, the U.S. has begun to address some of the concerns physicians have had about the nation’s healthcare system, especially as it comes under intense scrutiny following the deadly attacks in Paris.
Many doctors, nurses and pharmacists are leaving the country to avoid the strain of high costs, and the government has been pushing to improve access to care.
But the move has been met with criticism.
The new president is taking a very different approach, said Dr. Paul M. Armentano, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
“He’s basically saying that if you want to be an effective doctor in this country, you need to do something,” Armentado said.
Some physicians have gone elsewhere.
Others have left the country for more lucrative jobs in the United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, where the U, S. and D.C. are not in direct competition.
The U.K. is expected to become the first U.N. member country to approve a plan for mandatory universal coverage by 2024.
Healthcare experts said there was still much to be done to increase access to primary care.
But the new administration is not taking the traditional approach of making the country an expensive place to work.
It is instead focusing on increasing spending on medical research and developing programs to promote wellness.
Dr. Daniela S. Castel, an associate professor of psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, said there are several strategies the Trump administration is using to make sure primary care stays affordable.
First, it has proposed funding to expand community health centers, which would help patients stay connected with care, she said.
Second, the Trump campaign has advocated a policy that would allow doctors to earn more money from Medicare, the government health insurance program for seniors, and potentially extend that money to other specialty areas such as pediatrics, orthopedics and infectious diseases.
Third, it is proposing to establish a new federal agency, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, that would oversee the program, which is expected soon.
Fourth, the president is proposing that medical schools be allowed to hire and train students from overseas, a move that would also open up new business opportunities for U.s. schools.
Fifth, the new health care secretary is also considering allowing hospitals to offer private health insurance to residents and visitors, as well as the ability for doctors to treat uninsured patients who otherwise would be turned away from primary care clinics.
“It’s an ambitious plan, but it’s the right direction,” Dr. Brian A. Mancuso, director of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security and Health Policy, said of the new policies.
In addition, Manciso said, there are also plans for increased financial assistance to families that have to pay premiums and deductibles.
At the same time, the administration is taking steps to increase investment in health systems and provide funding for new programs to improve the quality of care.
For instance, the health secretary has directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to create a $200 million fund for health services, including prevention and treatment, emergency medical services and nursing home care.
Another administration initiative is a new Department of Homeland Security to assist states in preparing for natural disasters.
That agency is expected within the first months of the Trump presidency to be able to send up to 10,000 troops to fight wildfires and other natural disasters, such as tornadoes, hurricanes and pandemics.