City's Poor Lack Proper Medical Attention

In certain city neighborhoods, one in three residents has a hard time finding a primary care doctor, one in five has difficulty locating a pediatrician and one in two has trouble getting a dentist.

City officials announced the findings as part of their ongoing effort to improve primary care in the city’s poorest areas.

Council Speaker Christin Quinn says too many New Yorkers are using the emergency room as a doctor’s office.

QUINN: And not nearly enough money or attention gets spent on building and developing primary care in our city and getting New Yorkers connected to a permanent primary care provider.

REPORTER: The city surveyed three-thousand New Yorkers for the study. The most frequent problems reported were long delays in getting medical appointments, long waits to see the doctor, and short visits with doctors and nurses.

The city plans to spend about $8 million this year and another $16 million or so in the coming years to expand existing clinics and possibly build new ones.

Another $42 million is available from the Albany as part of the state’s efforts to close hospitals and replace them with smaller, more versatile facilities to serve communities.