Now is the Time for Congress to Serve Nation, Meet Healthcare Needs

Aug 08, 2011, 10:29 ET from Association of Academic Health Centers

Association of Academic Health Centers Calls for Continued GME Funding

WASHINGTON, Aug. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Association of Academic Health Centers (AAHC) is pleased that funding for Graduate Medical Education (GME) was not specifically targeted in the recently enacted Budget Control Act of 2011.  Going forward, the AAHC strongly urges all members of Congress, and specifically those appointed to the newly-created Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, to preserve GME funding in any subsequent deficit reduction deals.

The nation is facing a potentially serious health workforce shortage and more physicians are essential, not only to care for the comprehensive and chronic illnesses of an aging population, but also to meet the needs of communities already lacking healthcare workers.  "Medicare GME dollars serve as a primary financial resource for educating and training our future healthcare providers," said Dr. Steven Wartman, AAHC President and CEO, "and reductions in this funding would have an immediate and significant impact on this vital program – in both the quality of education and the number of medical students to be trained."  

The nation's academic health centers educate the next generation of physicians and continually respond to the challenges of delivering comprehensive and complex patient care, including providing care for some of our neediest and underserved.  "Any cuts in GME funding would threaten the vital safety-net of care in our country that is provided by academic health centers," said Wartman.

The AAHC is concerned as further cuts in the federal budget come up for consideration. "We encourage our government leaders and policymakers to stand together in avoiding any reductions in the GME program, and remain vigilant to the health and well-being of our nation as they proceed to reduce the federal deficit in the coming months."

The AAHC is a national non-profit association representing more than 100 academic health centers, with a mission to improve the nation's health care system by mobilizing and enhancing the strengths and resources of the academic health center enterprise in health professions education, patient care, and research.

SOURCE Association of Academic Health Centers