June 27, 2013
In a win for the California Medical Association (CMA) and the citizens of Riverside County, the state budget approved last week included full and continuous funding of $15 million a year for the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine. The deal came about in a last-minute push by CMA and Riverside legislators.
Senator Richard D. Roth (D-Riverside) and Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside) were carrying CMA-sponsored bills SB 21 and AB 27, which would have similarly funded the operation and expansion of the UC Riverside medical school.
""The $15 million of ongoing state money in this year’s state budget is a victory for the UC Riverside medical school, the health of the people of Inland Southern California and our regional economy. This victory will benefit all of us today and our families for generations to come,"" Said Sen. Roth.
""The Legislature took a major step forward to meet our communities' critical need for doctors and health care providers in an area where our working families have been neglected for too long,"" Asm. Medina said.
According to the California HealthCare Foundation, Riverside County is currently the only county of more than 1 million people in the state to have fewer than 100 physicians per 100,000 people. The demand for new doctors will be more acute as California implements the Affordable Care Act and thousands of Inland Southern California residents will become eligible for health care coverage, many for the first time.
The CMA-sponsored bills will now be modified to establish a system for identifying eligible medical residents and helping them apply for physician retention programs, including, but not limited to the Steven M. Thompson Physician Corps Loan Repayment Program. The fund encourages recently licensed physicians to practice in medically underserved areas of California by providing up to $105,000 in exchange for agreeing to practice in medically underserved communities for a minimum of three years.
Contact: Eduardo Martinez, (916) 444-5532 or firstname.lastname@example.org.