Lawmakers look to attract physicians to community health centers

Committee will review testimony before making recommendations to the state

BOSTON (WWLP) – Health care representatives say there’s a shortage of primary care doctors in Massachusetts. They’re calling on lawmakers to back a bill that would encourage more physicians to work at community health centers.

Lawmakers on the state’s health care financing committee heard from the public on Wednesday regarding bills addressing primary care, professional practice, and behavioral and mental health.

One proposal would establish a Primary Care Workforce Development and Loan Repayment Program at community health centers. The program aims to enhance recruitment and retention of primary care physicians in Massachusetts.

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“The workforce challenges we face threaten our ability to continue delivery of high quality, cost effective and timely access to care,” Michael Curry of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers explained. “Therefore, we urge this committee to pass senate bill 608 favorably.”

Some lawmakers are concerned over funding and if doctors will stay in Massachusetts after they complete the program.

The committee will review public testimony on the bill before making recommendations to the state.