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Bill Would Incentivize Doctors to 'Serve the Underserved'

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Experts say the demand for primary care in California will only grow with the aging population and the state's implementation of health reform.

But research shows that if you're a Californian living outside of Orange County, Sacramento or the Bay Area, you may already have trouble finding a family doctor.

PEREA:  "In rural communities all across the state, there's a huge problem for people to access health care."

Democratic Assemblymember Henry Perea represents the Fresno area.

He wants to expand a state-run medical school scholarship program that helps fund doctors who commit to working in underserved areas.

PEREA: "The ideal situation would be providing these scholarships to students who are from underserved areas because they'll have the greatest incentive to come back, not only because of the scholarship, but because they have family here."

The initial expansion would be small. Perea's looking for a million dollars from public and private sources - including the state's lottery.

That money would pay some of the tuition for ten new doctors.

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