CHICAGO - A study of 641 U.S. doctors has found a
majority them favor legislation allowing physicians to join
collective bargaining organizations, according to the American
Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
AFSCME, which represents about 14,500 doctors through two
affiliated union groups, sponsored the study, which found about
90 percent of the 641 salaried and nonsalaried doctors surveyed
believe the health care system ``has gotten worse for doctors.''
The organization released the results of the study at a
news conference Saturday, a day before the American Medical
Association's annual meeting begins in Chicago.
``What's surprising about these results is the lack of
ambiguity and the clarity of these results,'' said Ron Cohn, a
representative from Lake Snell Perry & Associates, the
political research firm that conducted the study. ``No matter
how you cut the data, no matter how you look at it...doctors
are frustrated with the state of health care and their changing
The study found that doctors blame HMOs, private insurance
companies and the government for the current state of health
care. It also concluded that the biggest frustrations among
doctors are insurers' authority over medical decisions, the
quantity of paperwork and the amount of reimbursements.
AFSCME representatives said at the news conference that
they hoped to convince the AMA of the benefits of collective
bargaining for physicians. The AMA halted efforts to unionize
private-sector physicians earlier this month after the U.S.
Supreme Court ruled in May that nurses with supervisory
responsibilities are not permitted to join labor unions.
AFSCME is affiliated with the Union of American Physicians
and Dentists and the Federation of Physicians and Dentists.
Copyright © 2001 Reuters Limited.