There’s been a lot in the news about a projected shortage of doctors here in California. The LA Times is saying that only 16 of 58 counties have the quantity of doctors recommended by the federal government.
Up until now the suggestions for taking care of this situation have been to use nurse practitioners and other medical professionals who are somewhat trained but not to the degree of doctors to fill in the gap.
Doctors are concerned about the quality of care that will be available via the suggestion of “filling in” so to speak with qualified to less than 100% levels… soooo in response a group of doctors submitted a package of 5 bills for addressing the shortage without expanding the practices of non-physicians.
It also targets incentives and “hows” for having “care” be provided in underserved areas.
Bills included in the proposed package are:
- SB 21 and AB 27, advocates that $15 million annually from the state general fund be provided for the new UC-Riverside School of Medicine
- AB 565, expands the Steve Thompson Loan Repayment Program that helps repay medical school loans in exchange for individuals agreeing to practice in medically underserved areas;
- AB 1176, creates additional residency positions in medically underserved communities by implementing insurer fees
- AB 1288, requires the Medical Board of California to prioritize applications for physician licenses from individuals who agree to practice and treat underserved population(s).
What do you think? We’ll have to wait and see what happens here. They are going the way that the teaching profession went to encourage young college students to become teachers.