WASHINGTON DC — Doctors are in high demand nationwide.
Some projections show a shortage of up to 124,000 physicians over the next decade.
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That growing need has Congress exploring how to address this situation quickly.
Biden administration officials said they’re taking on the demand for more doctors with the national health service corps.
This program helps doctors with scholarships and loan repayment.
Then, in exchange, they practice in underserved communities.
It is run by the health resources and services administration.
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Officials say these doctors often work at thousands of community centers that provide care to patients even if they can’t afford it.
President Biden’s budget includes a request for more than 960 million dollars to continue this program.
Republicans on this committee say they’re seeing the impact of the healthcare shortage in their own districts.
But some GOP leaders also want to cut federal spending.
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Republican Doctor Andy Harris of Maryland believes states should cover the costs for these training programs.
“Some states in fact do have like the state of Maryland has a separate loan repayment program from the federal government,” Harris said.
“Our budget prioritizes training more medical residences and incentivizing practices in rural and underserved communities,” Carole Johnson of the Health Resources and Services Administration.
Federal officials say if health programs lose funding, they estimate 2 mllion patients could lose access to care in rural communities.
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