The UM System President is praising a budget plan approved by Missouri House and Senate negotiators this week, saying it will have a major impact on health care in the Show-Me State.
Dr. Mun Choi traveled to the Statehouse in Jefferson City on Monday, and praises the funding plan approved by the bipartisan Conference Committee on Budget.
“We’re very pleased that that funding is available for us to train more doctors, dentists, engineers and pharmacists in the state,” Dr. Choi says.
Choi observed Monday’s House-Senate budget conference committee meetings.
He says the funding is also aimed at alleviating doctor shortages in parts of Missouri.
“The programs support the clinical program in Springfield to train medical students to become medical doctors who practice in the state of Missouri,” says Choi.
The MU School of Medicine website says that “Missouri is among the states with a severe shortage of rural physicians with 90% of Missouri counties not having enough doctors.”
The website notes 37% of Missourians live in rural communities, but only 18% of Missouri physicians practice in those rural communities.
The MU School of Medicine website says the Springfield Clinical campus is a public/private partnership with CoxHealth and Mercy.
Dr. Choi tells Missourinet the funding approved by the conference committee will also help UMKC work with Missouri Southern State University in Joplin to develop a dental program, aimed at training 60 dental students annually.
Meantime, UM System President Choi is being praised by Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin, who has criticized Mizzou and the UM System during his 16-year legislative career.
Richard tells Missourinet he appreciates Dr. Choi’s transparency.
“I’ve never seen such a breath of fresh air at the University of Missouri than Dr. Choi and the reason they have done so well this year on the budget is because of his leadership and his expertise and I think there’s great strides ahead for the University of Missouri and I congratulate him,” Richard says.
All changes approved by the conference committee are going back to the House and Senate for one more vote. The House is expected to take the budget up on Wednesday morning.
The Missouri Constitution requires lawmakers to approve a balanced budget by Friday.
Click here to listen to Missourinet news director Brian Hauswirth’s full interview with UM System President Dr. Mun Choi, which was recorded on May 7, 2018 at the Statehouse in Jefferson City:
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