Planned parenthood fighting doctor shortage

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -  

Millions of new patients will soon have medical insurance under the new federal health care law, but there may not be enough doctors to take care of them.

The Bakersfield Planned Parenthood clinic was forced to shut down for a few days last week because of a physician shortage.

The Director of Public Affairs for Mira Monte Planned Parenthood told 23 ABC they need more medical students to work in Kern County, but it’s not always that easy.

“A lot of times our young folks in our community that are looking to be professionals are leaving the Valley to go to medical schools either in Southern California or Northern California and I think we need to find ways to bring them back,” said Pedro Elias, Director of Public Affairs.

So Assemblyman Rudy Salas introduced a bill to encourage students who are graduating to practice in the Valley.

"AB 565 will bring more doctors into the Central Valley into our community in places like Arvin, Mcfarland, Lamont, East Bakersfield and Taft because we know we have a serious need."

In the meantime, Bakersfield’s Planned Parenthood is hoping marketing and outreach programs will help recruit more doctors.

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