Currently, there is a bipartisan effort to have the Senate Health, Educaiton, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee approve legislation to re-fund Health Centers Graduate Medical Education Program.
The program officially ends Sept. 30, and without the re-authorization it would jeopardize efforts to train medical residents in community-based settings
One of those centers includes the (THC) at East Central HealthNet Rural Family Medicine Residency Program in Meridian.
“Mississippi has an ongoing need for more primary care physicians and specialists. Teaching Health Centers, like the program in Meridian, work proactively to meet that need,” Cochran said. “I hope the Senate and House will act soon to maintain these important programs, which also benefit many patients.”
Cochran is part of a group that has cosponsored the Training the Next Generation of Primary Care Doctors Act (S. 1754).
“We are already hearing from THCs that without a guaranteed funding stream, they may need to give termination notices to current residents. Any loss in residents would represent a step backward in our efforts to end primary care shortages,” the letter said. “This impending funding cliff would have a devastating impact on health center operations and ultimately the health and well being of Americans in rural and undeserved communities,”
THC residents nationwide this year will have provided more than 1 million primary medical care visits to undeserved communities in 27 states and the District of Columbia.