Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Legislature Cuts Residency Funds for Family Docs

The primary care shortage isn't going away anytime soon, courtesy of the Texas Legislature.  (The projected national shortage is the gap pictured above.)  Texas Tribune reported:

State funding for the family practice residency program will drop more than 70 percent, from $21.2 million in the current biennium to $5.6 million in 2012-13 — a cut of roughly $10,000 per student. The primary care residency program will be zeroed out entirely. These cuts come on top of 10 percent formula funding cuts for medical schools, and Medicaid rate cuts at the hospitals that train these med students.

Both San Angelo hospitals and Esperanza Clinic have struggled at times to add primary care physicians.  Two Texas family practice residency programs closed in the last four years.  Legislators made it more challenging for the Esperanza's of the world to recruit new doctors.

The physician education loan repayment program, which pays the medical school bills of new doctors who agree to practice in underserved communities, is losing 76 percent of its funding — a $17 million hit over the next two years.
San Angelo is finding more water to grow.  Texas plans to have millions more people.  Who will take care of them, insured or uninsured?  The Texas Legislature doesn't care.

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