Capitol Public Radio News

State Funding To Alleviate Doctor Shortage in Jeopardy

May 1, 2017

California’s shortage of primary care doctors will likely get worse, particularly in the Central Valley and Inland Empire. $55 million worth of federal and private grants for medical residencies in underserved areas is expiring. A deal for the state to step in is also in jeopardy.

The state agreed last year to make up for some of the lost funding for primary care doctors, starting with $33 million in this next budget, but the Brown administration wants to cut that funding, due to a projected $2 billion deficit.

The Finance Department’s Adam Dorsey defended the cut to an unsympathetic panel of Senators last week.

"It’s not to say that it’s not a worthy investment," Dorsey said, "it’s just not something the state can afford.

Democratic Senator and physician Richard Pan indicated lawmakers are prepared to push back.

"This has already been agreed to. We should just move forward on this. Even with this, we’re still going to have a net negative in terms of training physicians," Pan says.

The Senators asked that Brown restore the money for new physicians in his revised spending proposal in May.