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ACP-ASIM Opposes Proposed Cuts to Title VII and VIII of the Public Health Service Act

February 8, 2002

Doctors of Internal Medicine Warn of Impact on Health Care Workforce

(Washington, DC): Dramatic cuts to the health care workforce funding, as proposed in President George W. Bush's 2003 Fiscal Budget, will exacerbate current shortages of health professionals in rural and underserved areas, according to the American College of Physicians - American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM).

"The President's budget would cut existing programs under Title VII and VIII of the Public Health Service Act by over 70 percent," said William Hall, MD, FACP, president of the ACP-ASIM. "These programs are necessary to train the health care professionals who provide high quality primary care in rural and underserved areas."

The programs under Title VII and VIII of the Public Health Service Act are designed to increase access to health care in underserved areas by improving the quality, geographic distribution, and racial and ethnic diversity of the health care workforce.

"Now is the time to build and expand upon the programs that will train the health professions workforce of the future, not to cut back," stated Dr. Hall.

Dr. Hall commended the President for his proposals to expand funding for community health centers and for the National Health Service Corps. He also noted that the president's budget proposal would provide funds for nursing schools to offer loans and scholarships to encourage students to enter the nursing profession. However, he warned that these steps alone are insufficient to assure access to high quality health care services throughout the country.

"It will do little good to establish new community-based centers if we do not train the health care workers who will be needed to staff them," stated Dr. Hall.

ACP-ASIM is the nation's largest medical specialty society and the second largest professional medical association. The College represents over 115,000 physicians who specialize in internal medicine and medical students with an interest in internal medicine.

Jack Pope, (202) 261-4556, jpope@acponline.org
Jennifer Whalen, (202) 261-4575, jennw@acponline.org

Page updated: 11-04-03

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