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Rep. Ruiz announces bill to address rural physician shortage

060119 Raul Ruiz Bill

COACHELLA VALLEY, Calif. - Representatives Raul Ruiz M.D. (D-CA) and Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) have announced a new bill designed to improve rural communities’ access to physicians. 

The new bill, H.R. 2815, also called “The Training the Next Generation of Primary Care Doctors Act,” is designed to address the shortage of doctors, especially in rural areas such as certain parts of the Coachella Valley. 

The bill reauthorizes and expands the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program and increases funding for existing teaching health centers. The bill would also provide more than $100 million in new funding to establish new teaching health centers across the country. 

“Especially in the community clinics and underserved areas like Coachella, Mecca, Desert Hot Springs and some areas in Indio...we need more doctors. Because we know that we have a physician shortage right here in our community and this is part of the plan to bring in more doctors to help,” said Ruiz.  

According to Ruiz, certain studies indicate that areas in the Coachella Valley have only one full-time physician per 9,000 residents, compared to the recommended ratio of one physician to 2,000 people, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration.  

Congressman Ruiz says he feels hopeful the bill will pass and help the Coachella Valley proactively address the shortage. 

 


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