P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2015
AUSTIN – The Texas Senate today unanimously approved SB 18 by Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, to address Texas' medical workforce needs by expanding graduate medical education (GME). The bill now moves to the Texas House of Representatives for further consideration.
"Patients cannot access the health care they need without a strong medical workforce -- one that covers the entire state and allows patients to access specialty care," said Senator Nelson. "This bill will help keep our Texas-trained medical school graduates in state. It allows us to recruit from other states. It also enables us to respond to regional shortages and shortages in critical specialties. Overall, it helps us grow the physician workforce necessary to care for our state."
SB 18 would grow our state’s physician workforce, particularly in critical shortage areas by:
- Encouraging entities, such as rural community clinics, to provide new residency programs by allowing them to partner with schools and hospitals to navigate the accreditation process;
- Combining and streamlining the existing residency expansion programs, putting an emphasis on geographic and specialty shortages; and
- Creating a permanent fund which lays the foundation for a long-term solution to ensure our graduate medical education slots keep pace with our growing population and greater number of medical school graduates expected in the future.
SB 2, the Senate's proposed budget filed by Senator Nelson, includes $60 million in funding for GME expansion over the biennium.