Hospitals face shortage of pediatric specialists

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Frustrated parents say they often wait months get medical appointments at U.S. children's hospitals because of a shortage of pediatric specialists.

Doctors who specialize in neurology, development and behavioral problems, diabetes, lung disease and intestinal disorders are in the highest demand. Ohio is home to six children's hospitals, meaning most specialists are within a couple of hours' drive for parents.

But the situation isn't ideal, especially for parents seeking treatment for complicated or rare illnesses. Nick Lashutka, president of the Ohio Children's Hospital Association, says reforms are needed.

He would like more federal money for graduate medical education, and he'd like specialists who treat children on Medicaid to make the same kind of money as specialists who treat adult Medicare patients.

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