This article was originally published in My Central Jersey.

Like most states in the country, New Jersey doesn’t have enough workers on the front lines in health care. Recent commentary by industry leaders has confirmed this fact.

Recent work has also highlighted that 10 of 21 counties in New Jersey do not have enough primary care physicians. In addition, 16 of New Jersey’s 21 counties have an insufficient number of mental health care providers.

Although it doesn’t generate the same headlines, a similarly important crisis is occurring with respect to eye care providers. As the average age of the population increases, more and more patients are demanding access to eye care services. Yet the number of ophthalmologists — medical doctors with specialty training in eye care — is projected to fall. The number of retirements each year is outpacing the number of ophthalmologists completing residency. 

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