Advocacy Briefs: Health Professions Education Programs Receive Funding Increase.
On February 15, 2007 President Bush signed a $463.5 billion spending package to fund much of the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2007. The measure includes $185 million for the Title VII health professions programs, an increase of $40 million (27.6%) over fiscal year 2006. The additional Title VII funds include $32 million to restore the geriatrics training programs to the fiscal year 2005 level and an $8 million increase for primary care programs. ACP is a member of the Health Professions and Nursing Education Coalition, which has been actively advocating for increased funding for Title VII programs.
Title VII includes general internal medicine, general pediatrics and family medicine education programs. Serious health professional shortages continue to exist in rural and underserved areas. This is partially due to market forces driving health professionals to practice where higher wages are available. The health professions programs were designed to combat this pattern by educating and training providers with the goal that they return to serve in rural and underserved areas. As a result, the graduates of these programs are three to ten times more likely to practice in medically underserved areas than graduates of non-funded programs.
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