Some 36 million Americans have no access to basic healthcare services, a new report by the National Association of Community Health Centers has found. While 43 million Americans lack health insurance, the report said, such figures overlook the "medically unserved" population that has trouble finding physicians to provide care. In fact, nearly half of the 36 million medically unserved are insured, the report said. The medically unserved "live in inner cities and in isolated rural communities," said Dan Hawkins, vice president of policy for the association. "But no matter where they live, the story is the same: They can't get healthcare because there aren't enough doctors in their communities willing or able to care for them."
Despite the Bush administration's expansion of community health centers over the past two years, the association found, some states continue to have significant unserved populations, including Mississippi where 33% of residents are considered unserved. Hawaii had the smallest unserved population, with fewer than 1% of residents unable to access care, according to the report. -- by Jeff Tieman