Today's Law As Amended

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AB-1759 Health care workers: rural and underserved areas.(2019-2020)

As Amends the Law Today

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares as follows:
(1) The health and well-being of Californians is compromised by both a significant health care workforce shortage and a growing mismatch between population needs and available services.
(2) These shortages are most severe in some of California’s largest and fastest growing regions, particularly in underserved, rural, and ethnically and linguistically diverse communities.
(3) The state must make significant investments in our health care workforce to overcome the growing gap between its existing workforce and the state’s growing population and increasing diversity to ensure access to quality, affordable health care.
(4) Californians who currently live in federally designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) will be hit hardest by the health care workforce shortage.
(5) Health care workforce challenges may result in individuals going without needed care, including preventive services, experiencing delays in receiving appropriate care, enduring financial burdens, and undergoing preventable hospitalizations.
(6) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this act to increase the supply of health care professionals in rural and other underserved communities.
(b) Upon an express appropriation for the purpose of increasing the health care workforce in rural and underserved areas, the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development shall allocate those appropriated funds for the support of programs that effect that purpose, including, but not limited to, the following programs:
(1) A program to expand the number of primary care physician and psychiatry residency positions, including universities, hospitals, and clinics that have not previously operated residency programs, and to prioritize the allocation of funds to residency programs in HPSAs.
(2) A program to recruit and train students from areas with a large disparity in patient-to-doctor ratios to practice in community health centers in the area from which each student was recruited.
(3) A program to expand and strengthen loan repayment programs for primary care physicians and clinicians that agree to serve in HPSAs.
(4) A program to expand and strengthen programs to recruit and prepare students from underrepresented and low-income backgrounds for health careers.