One of the nation's most serious problems is the lack of uniform access to health and medical care for all members of the population. This problem is most prominent in inner city and rural areas.
The existing inequities in the health care system are often blamed on a national shortage of medical manpower and associated facilities. The distribution of these limited resources intensifies this apparent shortage. For example, the doctor per person ratio is 1:518 in New York, 1:1,340 in Mississippi, and 1:1,448 in Arkansas. Even wider differences exist within some state boundaries. In Virginia, the ratio is 1:558 in metropolitan areas and 1:2,243 in rural areas.