Pima County’s biggest health problem is a lack of access to medical care, a new report says.
The “Pima County Community Health Needs Assessment,” released Friday, was completed by officials from Tucson’s non-profit hospitals as part of the new federal health law.
As a next step, each health system create a plan to address the health gaps that Friday’s report identifies.
Among those gaps is the 20 percent of Pima County adults and nearly 12 percent of county children who have no health insurance.
State cuts to Medicaid, which is for extremely indigent people, left more people without health coverage, says the report, published jointly by the Carondelet Health Network, Tucson Medical Center and The University of Arizona Medical Center. The authors also say limited coverage for behavioral health and a lack of access to medications are hindering local residents from getting the care they need.
Other county residents are not getting appropriate healthcare because of a shortage of primary care providers, the 121-page document says.
The report identifies the most medically underserved areas in Pima County as Ajo, and the Pascua Yaqui and Tohono O’odham reservations.
Obesity, diabetes and substance abuse were identified as the county’s top medical problems.