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Doctor shortage forcing some Central New York hospitals to divert patients

The doctor shortage in Central New York is getting worse and it is forcing some hospitals to curtail services, according to a report by the Healthcare Association of New York State.

A survey by the association shows 57 percent of hospitals in Central New York said there were times in 2009 when the doctor shortage left their emergency rooms without coverage for certain specialties, forcing them to transfer patients to other facilities. The doctor shortage forced 28 percent of Central New York hospitals surveyed to reduce or eliminate services.

To make up for the shortage, 76 percent of Central New York hospitals said they had to hire costly temporary physicians.

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