PHOENIX (AP) - When it comes to doctor availability, the current prognosis for rural Arizona hospitals is not good.
The Arizona Republic reports that a majority of the state's more remote hospitals are experiencing a physician shortage that will only worsen as doctors retire.
Staff members at these hospitals say it's also hard to lure talented new doctors when the facilities themselves look run-down.
The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association has found that the state ranks 44th out of 50 in total active primary-care doctors. That draught is worse in rural areas.
Experts say it's the patients who will suffer the most from the shortage.
Patients who lean on rural hospitals will find it more difficult to get follow-up appointments.
Some health care advocates are urging residents in rural communities to study medicine.
Information from: The Arizona Republic, http://www.azcentral.com