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Jacksonville women forced to wait when wanting mammograms

1:19 AM, Feb 27, 2003   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, FL - It can be one of the scariest times of a woman's life, waiting to get a mammogram to find out if a lump is cancerous. Right now the wait in Jacksonville to receive such a mammogram is one month and in some instances it can be a five-month wait. What's shocking say women is that the wait used to be 24 hours. The question being asked now is why do women have to sit around and wait for months waiting for a test that could save their life? The experts say the reason for the wait is because there are simply not enough radiologists to read the films taken. Dr. Chris Granfield and Dr. Barbara Sharp are radiologists and say that four mammogram centers have closed in Jacksonville this year alone. They say that independent mammogram centers are closing and hospitals are having trouble hiring qualified people because doctors are afraid they will be sued for malpractice. They say that a mammographer in Jacksonville who makes about $150,000 a year is paying nearly $80,000 in liability insurance. Because according to Dr. Granfield, "it's a sue sue society and we feel like targets. We're laid out to be skewered." The constant fear of malpractice has resulted in an excruciating wait for women wanting a mammogram. Dr. Sharp says at her hospital alone some 680 women are on a waiting list to get a mammogram. Radiologists say that the solution to the problem is to cap jury awards so that malpractice insurance won't be so high. They are also encouraging women to call State Senator Jim King before lawmakers vote on the matter

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