Within Prince George’s County, there are significant disparities in health amongst people of different races, ethnicities, and incomes. These differences can be partially attributed to social determinants of health, which, according to the World Health Organization, are the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age.
Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), access to health coverage is improving across the county. In Prince George’s County, the number of people without health care coverage decreased from 14% to 9%. However, access to care may continue to be a challenge due to the limited supply of primary care providers practicing within the County. In Prince George’s County, there is one primary care provider for every 1,852 residents, compared to the statewide average of one primary care provider for every 1,124 Maryland residents. Currently there are three regional health systems and five hospitals located in the county. As of 2016, there are five Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) operating seven facilities in Prince George’s County. The 2015 Prince George’s County Primary Healthcare Strategic Plan addresses the need to strengthen the county’s primary health care infrastructure, increase access to quality primary care services, and address health care services for uninsured residents. Plans are underway to develop a regional academic health center to replace the Prince George’s County Hospital.
Making Prince George’s County a healthier place for all to live requires not only expanding wellness initiatives and access to quality healthcare, but also addressing the economic and social well being of its citizens.