(SACRAMENTO, CA)— To help alleviate physician shortages in his district, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D- Coachella) requested $40 million to expand the UC graduate medical education program. This request was successfully approved by the Legislature Tuesday and incorporated into the 2018-2019 Budget.
Currently, six out of nine Californian regions face a serious primary care shortage. Our state ranks twenty-third in the number of physicians per resident.
Assemblymember Garcia said, “Half of Californians live in a community where they do not have adequate access to necessary healthcare services. This issue disproportionately affects rural areas like those in my district. These funds to expand the UC graduate medical education program are critical to helping alleviate the severe physician shortage that exists in Imperial County”.
Right after the vote to approve our California State 2018/2019 Balanced Budget Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) applauded several 56th Assembly District budget victories.
“I commend the leadership of both houses of the Legislature in conjunction with our Governor for putting forward a budget that would empower our communities, alleviate poverty, curb barriers to employment, address homelessness, fortify investments into education including special education and career technical programs, help make college more affordable and ensure that our most vulnerable have equitable opportunities to succeed.”
“Securing this $40 million in the budget was an absolute priority for me. The UC graduate medical education program has the flexibility to establish residency slots for specialists as well as to initiate new programs in low-income areas like ours that have been encountering extreme difficulties attracting physicians. This investment is a major step toward expanding healthcare opportunities for our 56thAssembly District communities.”
The University of California, Riverside School of Medicine’s Graduate Medical Education (GME) programs are key components of the school’s strategy to expand and diversify the physician workforce in Inland Southern California. By offering innovative and high-quality training programs in the most critically needed specialties, the UCR School of Medicine will attract and train new physicians with the skills, cultural competence and community health-based orientation that the changing landscape of healthcare needs requires.
Over the years, Assemblymember Garcia has worked with both Riverside and Imperial County healthcare agencies such as Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District to procure much-needed state resources. Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District manages the hospital and is the leading healthcare service provider for residents in Imperial County. A majority of that service area is comprised of Medi-Cal members. Roughly estimated, there is one physician to every 9,000 residents within the county.
“I highly commend Assemblymember Garcia’s leadership and consistent efforts to address health disparities in our community. For over 50 years, Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District has worked to provide state of the art health services and programs in Imperial County with limited resources and physicians. The expansion of the UC graduate medical education program will enhance our ability to tackle widespread provider shortages in our low income, rural area,” stated Larry Lewis, CEO of Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District.
Assemblymember of the 56th District Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) serves as your Assemblymember in the California Legislature and chairperson of the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife.
Garcia represents the 56th district, which comprises these cities and communities in both Riverside and Imperial counties:
Desert Hot Springs