Economic Downturn Leads to Medical Health Risks - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Economic Downturn Leads to Medical Health Risks

The economic crisis has made some people's financial situations so dire they could be risking their health.

Thirty-six percent of Americans have put off getting the care they need in order to save money, according to a national study.

Thirty-one percent admitted to skipping a recommended test or treatment.

Doctors say getting patients the care they need is a challenge like they've never seen before.

"We see the fear in the patients as far as the cost.  They're canceling or rescheduling procedures or surgeries," say Dr. Vraj Panara

Even walk in clinics say they're seeing more patients who have nowhere else to turn.

Eric Rasmussen, an administrator at a community health clinic in Florida, says a lot of patients come in who don't have a family physician because they've lost their benefits or they've lost their job.

And the problem goes beyond the doctor's office.

The same study found more than a quarter of Americans chose not to fill a prescription in the last year, while others cut pills or skipped doses of medications.

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