Armed with a study showing projected shortages of doctors in Florida, teaching and safety-net hospitals said Friday they are asking lawmakers to spend an additional $20 million a year on medical-residency programs.
The Teaching Hospital Council of Florida and the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida, which represents teaching, public and children's hospitals, said the $20 million also would draw $30 million in federal matching funds. It would be added to the current $80 million a year in state and federal funding for graduate medical-education programs.
"We are not, to put it bluntly, training enough physicians,'' Steven Sonenreich, chairman of the Teaching Hospital Council of Florida and president and chief executive officer of Miami's Mount Sinai Medical Center, said in a prepared statement. "Florida has fallen seriously behind in our obligation to provide an adequate supply of physicians to keep our families and communities healthy."
The request comes as lawmakers prepare to draw up a budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. Health-care funding will play a critical issue in budget negotiations. The hospital groups last month released a study that indicated Florida will face continued shortfalls of physicians in the future in some specialties, with the problems expected to be particularly severe in rural areas.
The groups sponsored the study, which was conducted by the firm IHS Global.