Adrienne DeMarais Zertuche, MD, MPH
Georgia has 10.9 obstetrician/gynecologists per 100,000 residents, a number which falls significantly short of the national average of 14.1. Population growth and provider exodus continue to exacerbate this shortage, and the problem disproportionately affects rural areas.
The obstetric situation is especially grave. Georgia received March of Dimes “F” and “D” ratings for preterm delivery in 2010 and 2011, and it has the tenth highest infant mortality in the United States (8.1 per 1,000 live births). Of the 82 Georgia primary care service areas1 (PCSAs) outside metropolitan Atlanta, 52% have an overburdening or complete absence of obstetric providers. That is, 36% of the PCSAs outside of Atlanta have no delivering obstetricians, and 16% have a shortage. If Georgia fails to recruit additional providers over the next 10 years, the number of PCSAs with a deficit will double. By 2020, 75% of the PCSAs outside Atlanta will lack sufficient obstetric services. Continue reading
The GMIHRG created legislator-specific “PCSA cards” for distribution to all 178 Georgia Representatives and 56 Georgia Senators.
PCSA CARD FRONT: The front of each card incorporates a map of Georgia’s OB provider shortages, as well as revealing quotations from obstetricians across the state.
PCSA CARD BACK: The back displays data specific to the PCSA(s) in the legislator’s district, including number of births and deliveries; number, age, and sex of delivering providers; and current and predicted provider burden (average annual deliveries per provider). Please click on the name of your senator or representive listed below to view and download the back of the PCSA card(s) for your area. If you don’t know which senator or representative represents your county, see the list below to find their names. Be sure to send the PCSA card back and front information to your legislators and ask them to protect the women of Georgia who lack adequate care and find ways to help the obstetric providers who are overburdened.
Click here to view the full PDF of the Georgia OB Shortage map. Each Legislator PCSA Card included this map of Georgia with color coding to show the status of Obstetric coverage in each county. The darkest green color shows the counties which currently have NO obstetric services. Pregnant women in these areas must travel to other counties to receive obstetric care or they go without care. The second darkest green shows areas where there are some OB services, but not enough to meet the demand.
Click here to find out which Georia state representatives and senators represent your county.