Bill Aims to Recruit More Primary Care Docs

Legislation would work in tandem with similar efforts

March 24, 2011 -- Rep. Nancy Nathanson (D-Eugene) no longer serves on the House Health Care Committee, but her commitment to healthcare issues remains steadfast. That’s why she’s sponsoring House Bill 2366, which focuses on recruiting more primary care physicians to Oregon.

The bill will have its first hearing Monday before the House Health Care Committee.
 
“Oregon faces a shortage of primary care physicians, creating a gap in affordable access to primary and preventative care and a disparity in access between Oregon’s cities and rural areas,” said Nathanson.
 
Her bill proposes that the Oregon Health Authority work with physician organizations, hospitals, and local officials to develop a coordinated marketing and recruitment pilot program that would promote Oregon as an ideal place for primary care physicians to live and work, and coordinate visiting opportunities for prospective doctors.
 
“We’re talking with agencies about how to reach out to people in this field,” said Tess Milio, Nathanson’s legislative aide. “ We’re exploring coordinating efforts to do trade shows, and getting people to visit other parts of the state” outside urban areas.
 
The bill “could work with a lot of the bills that have been proposed” around retaining primary care physicians, said Milio. Those include bills focusing on loan forgiveness and repayment for physicians who choose to practice in Oregon’s rural areas, as well as a “primary care transformation” pilot program run by Oregon Health & Science University.
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