WASHINGTON — A shortage of primary care physicians has spurred Wright-Patterson Medical Center to tell an estimated 3,400 patients to take their business elsewhere. And a U.S. senator is upset with how the message is being delivered.
Col. Kimberly Slawinski, commander of the 88th Medical Group at the base, delivered the news in a June 5 letter to Tricare Prime recipients — including military retirees, reservists and family members of active duty military who live more than 30 minutes from the base: Air Force-wide medical shortages, compounded by deployments supporting the global war on terrorism, has caused such a shortage that "we have no choice but to adjust our patient capacity to match our available resources."
The letter advised recipients their enrollment would be transferred to a primary care provider in their local network. Patients who did not choose a primary care provider would have one chosen for them, the letter said.
Patients were advised in the letter that "due to the volume of expected calls, we are not answering questions over the phone."
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