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Health poll reveals where people go for care

The Bakersfield Californian, March 25, 2013
A telephone study of nearly 700 Kern County residents last year found that people head outside the county seeking treatment for a variety of aliments. The study was funded by The Californian along with a local hospital and health insurance provider. Survey participants listed cancer, orthopedic issues and learning disabilities as the conditions for which they most frequently venture outside the county to find care. Nearly 30 percent said their family has sought care for cancer elsewhere, though one doctor said that number seems unrealistically high. "Compared to before, the trend has turned. There are so many people staying here," said Dr. Ravi Patel, managing partner and medical director of the Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center in Bakersfield. "Very few people will think about actually going elsewhere."