Torres Small files bill to hire 15,000 doctors for rural communities
March 22, 2019 10:15 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Congresswoman Xochtil Torres Small has filed a bill to address a shortage of doctors in rural areas like those around New Mexico.
The Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2019, HR 1763, if approved, would remove an artificial cap on the number of residents funded by Medicare.
It would also increase the number of Medicare-funded residency position by 15,000.
"This is the beginning to addressing this problem. There's still a lot that has to be done," Torres Small told KOB. "It's important that we get more physicians out into different communities and residency programs is a key way to start doing that."
If the bill passes, the law would add an extra 3,000 positions each year for the next five years, for a total of 15,000, with priority going to hospitals with an integrated rural track.
“An expecting mother shouldn’t have to drive for hours and across state lines for every single prenatal appointment. Veterans shouldn’t have to get on a bus in the middle of the night to get to a doctor’s appointment in Albuquerque the next day. These are the obstacles that our rural communities face when trying to access basic healthcare needs,” said Torres Small.
Torres Small said the bill is sponsored by Republicans and Democrats. It also has support in both the House and the Senate.
Updated: March 22, 2019 10:15 PM
Created: March 22, 2019 09:48 PM
Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved