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2013 SESSION


HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 689
Directing the Joint Commission on Health Care to study the current and impending severe shortage of medical doctors in Virginia. Report.

 

Agreed to by the House of Delegates, February 4, 2013
Agreed to by the Senate, February 19, 2013

 

WHEREAS, medical and health care experts have warned of a critical shortage of up to 200,000 medical doctors in the United States by 2020; and

WHEREAS, a medical doctor must complete nearly a decade of education and training, including four years of medical school and four to five years of residency training, in order to qualify for licensure; and

WHEREAS, while demand for medical care services has increased rapidly as a result of a growing population, the supply of doctors has remained limited; and

WHEREAS, health care manpower projections indicate that Virginia will experience a severe shortage of qualified health care providers on par with the worst national predictions; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the Joint Commission on Health Care be directed to study the current and impending severe shortage of medical doctors in Virginia. The Commission shall consider the impact of the current and projected shortage of medical doctors on the health care system in the Commonwealth and identify options to prepare for and remedy the shortage.

In conducting its study, the Commission shall (i) determine whether a shortage of medical doctors exists in the Commonwealth, by specialty and by geographical region; (ii) project the future need for medical doctors in Virginia over the next 10 years by field of specialty; (iii) identify and assess factors that contribute to the shortage of medical doctors, including factors related to medical school admissions, the costs of medical education, and the effect of excessive malpractice insurance premiums, malpractice laws and caps, the shortage of nurses, and ancillary regulations such as requirements related to Certificates of Public Need; and (iv) consider other related matters as the Commission may deem necessary. The Commission also shall identify the medical specialty fields primarily affected by the shortage of doctors and recommend ways to alleviate such shortages.

Technical assistance shall be provided to the Commission by the Department of Health Professions, Board of Medicine, State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Virginia Osteopathic Medical Association, and the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine.

All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the Commission for this study, upon request.

The Joint Commission on Health Care shall complete its meetings by November 30, 2013, and the Chairman shall submit to the Division of Legislative Automated Systems an executive summary of its findings and recommendations no later than the first day of the 2014 Regular Session of the General Assembly. The executive summary shall state whether the Commission intends to submit to the General Assembly and the Governor a report of its findings and recommendations for publication as a House or Senate document. The executive summary and report shall be submitted as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports and shall be posted on the General Assembly's website.