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Yuba-Sutter doctors urged to lead health care changes
The president of the California Medical Association said Tuesday in Yuba City that doctors have to lead changes in health care or they'll face a "default future" that comes when you sit back and watch rather than act.
"If we don't lead it," Dr. Paul Phinney said, "it's going to happen to us.
"We're going to be stuck with what we get," he added.
Phinney spoke to the Yuba Sutter Colusa Medical Society at the group's annual membership dinner and noted changes brought by measures including federal health care reform. More people will be accessing medical care as the physician population ages, he said.
"Fewer and fewer physicians," Phinney said. "More and more patients."
Phinney, 61, said medicine must be patient centered — an approach that Dr. Douglas Tolley, president of the local medical group, supports.
"That's what organized medicine is all about," Tolley said, "Physicians taking care of patients."
The Yuba Sutter Colusa Medical Society at its meeting elected Dr. Amber Chatwin as president for 2013 and Dr. Venu Kondle as president-elect.
Phinney, a practicing general pediatrician with The Permanente Medical Group since 1984, said before his talk at the meeting at the Refuge Restaurant that the California Medical Association membership has been split on federal health care reform.
They're as many conservatives doctors as liberal doctors, he said.
"They're doctors on both sides," Phinney said, "with legitimate ideas."
Some changes have won support, he added, including allowing parents to keep their children covered by the family health plan until they're age 26.
"Everyone agrees we have to figure out a way to make health care available to everyone," Phinney said.
CONTACT Ryan McCarthy at email@example.com or 749-4780. Find him on Facebook at /ADrmccarthy or on Twitter at @ADrmccarthy.