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 April 21, 2005
Doctors say expanding emergency departments needed, but worrying
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- This week, Rhode Island Hospital opens its expanded emergency department, joining hospitals around the state that have increased their E-RÔŅĹs capacities. Doctors say the space is needed, but that the need indicates a troubling trend.

Nationally, and in Rhode Island, more people are seeking emergency room care. Often, itÔŅĹs for non-emergency issues or emergencies that could have been prevented with other medical care.

Rhode Island has one of the lowest percentages of people without health insurance in the country. And a recent study found Rhode Islanders visit their doctors more often than the rest of the nation. But they still go to the emergency room about ten percent more often than the national average.

Health officials tells The Providence Journal that means spending more on high-cost emergency care, rather than cheaper, preventive care.

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