Missouri is in need of additional primary care physicians and psychiatrists. The state Legislature passed a bill this year that aims to help take the bull by the horns.

Rep. Patty Lewis, D-Kansas City, said the state’s medical schools do not currently have the capacity for these future doctors to complete post-graduate training. To help meet the demand, her bill would ramp up the number of medical residency slots available.

“What we want to do is obviously create new physicians, future doctors in this state. The studies show that physicians are likely to stay where they trained, so if they’re able to complete their training here in the state of Missouri, that they will stay here, that we’re not going to outsource,” said Lewis.

Her bill was added to a health care package that was sponsored by Missouri House Speaker Pro Tem Mike Henderson, R-Desloge.

“There’s been in recent years an increase in medical school positions,” Lewis said. “So while we’re increasing the education for medical schools, we are outsourcing many of the primary care physicians out of state because we didn’t have the capacity to complete the training.”

Her bill awaits a decision by Gov. Mike Parson. If the governor approves the package, it is also subject to funding.

“Every county except for Platte, I believe, is a county of need. So, you know, Missourians aren’t able to see their health care provider, and that’s a problem in rural and urban areas. What that does, they’re unable to take care of preventative care, oftentimes ending up like in the emergency room,” said Lewis.

Parson has until July 14 to take action on the package.

To view the plan, click here.

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