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Study Finds Most U.S. Doctors Favor Unionization
Published on Saturday, June 16, 2001 by Reuters
Study Finds Most U.S. Doctors Favor Unionization
 
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 role.''

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.

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