Bipartisan legislation better supports medical training programs in rural and underserved areas of Arizona
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema cosponsored the Rural Physician Workforce Production Act – bipartisan legislation that helps train and keep doctors in rural Arizona by boosting medical training programs.
“We’re working to keep more doctors in Arizona – especially in rural communities – by strengthening support of medical training programs, so more doctors study, train, and work in underserved areas across our state,” said Sinema.
The Sinema-backed bipartisan Rural Physician Workforce Production Act more equitably supports doctor training programs in rural and underserved areas. Arizona struggles from primary care shortages, with the most severe in rural areas and around tribal communities. Increasing the number of graduate medical education training slots in more rural Arizona communities will increase the likelihood that Arizona medical students stay in Arizona for their residency training, and once they have completed that training, continue to serve in rural locations.
Sinema’s bipartisan legislation is supported by a 2017 Government Accountability Office report that found federal efforts intended to increase graduate medical education training in rural areas were limited and faced several challenges. These challenges include financing, graduate medical education caps per program and hospital, and the lack of adequate payments to critical access hospitals and sole community hospitals. Sinema, who has previously supported this bipartisan legislation in other sessions of Congress, is working to address health care provider shortages across the state.