The Portland area is the healthiest in the nation.
But when it comes to the number of medical services available, it’s more than a matter of taste.
The state has more than 4,400 doctors, but only a handful of them offer the best care, according to a report released Thursday.
The Portland Public Health Commission ranks the areas in terms of their medical centers, with Portland and the suburbs in the top five, followed by the Central Oregon Health District, and the Southwest Oregon Health Alliance.
That’s based on the data from a nationwide survey of 1,800 health care professionals and community health workers, and is part of the ongoing effort to improve the quality of care for the region.
The report also ranks the health care system as “high,” “fair,” or “good” based on five criteria: a large pool of specialists, efficient care and an affordable health care plan.
“The region is a good place to be,” said Dr. Lisa Daley, the commission’s director of the health system.
“There are so many things that make us the best in the country.
I don’t see any reason why we wouldn’t be.”
The health care systems also are among the most affordable in the state, with an average price of $1,200 per capita for residents of Portland, the Southwest Portland Health Alliance and the Northeast Portland Health Authority.
The health system also has a strong presence in other parts of the state and among a growing number of large cities.
Portland has about 2,100 physicians, but more than one-third of those work in other areas, including in the Northeast, Southwest and Northwest.
The most affordable health center is in the Southwest, where the Southwest Health Alliance has about 600 physicians and nurses.
“Our system has really grown,” said Jeff Pyle, a regional director for the health systems division of the American Medical Association.
“We have some really, really good health care services that are available, but there are just not that many providers that provide the quality services.”
For example, many residents of the Southwest do not receive care at a primary care center, meaning they have to take care of themselves and get care from a physician or nurse who does.
The region also is struggling with the opioid crisis.
That has forced many residents to take to social media to talk about how bad the situation is, said Daley.
That helps explain why the health centers ranked highly in the report.
“They are really getting a lot of support from residents and the community,” Daley said.
“People are really sharing their stories of how they are coping with their health care issues and trying to get better.”
The report says the regional system is the most efficient and the most cost-effective, with the least expensive, which makes sense, said Pyle.
“If you are a person who has a high-cost health insurance plan, you are probably not going to be able to get the best, most efficient care,” he said.
A recent study showed that health care providers in the Northwest were spending more than twice as much per person than in other regions, such as Portland.
Pyle said the system also is one of the safest in the region, with about 1,100 medical providers and 2,000 outpatient providers and other health facilities that are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
That includes more than 1,000 emergency rooms and 1,200 hospitals and primary care facilities.
Daley noted that the health areas are working to improve patient care and quality of life, including making changes to the way residents and other visitors are treated.
The study was based on data collected between 2008 and 2012.
The commission says it will continue to improve its health system in the coming years.