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Newly Insured Will Worsen SD Doctor Shortage



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South Dakota has struggled for decades to deal with a shortage of family doctors in rural areas, and the shortage is expected to grow next year when the federal health care law allows more people to get insurance coverage.
    
The South Dakota State Medical Association estimates the state's shortage of primary care doctors is now about 100. Medical Association President Daniel Heinemann says the shortage could reach 200 in the next decade, meaning an additional 20 a year should be recruited to replace retiring doctors, care for an aging population and cover people gaining coverage under the federal health care overhaul.
    
To deal with the shortage, medical school classes and residency programs have been expanded, and financial rewards are offered to new doctors who agree to practice in rural areas.
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