Fight to resume in 2012 over money to train doctors


A fight over money to train doctors in residency programs at Michigan hospitals will carry over to 2012. As we hear from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta, supporters say the money is a critical part of addressing a doctor shortage.

Laswmakers say money for training doctors was simply not a top priority to be addressed before the Legislature adjourned until next year.

Repiblican state Senator Roger Kahn is a doctor who also chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee. Kahn says he will go back to work in 2012 to convince lawmakers that physician training deserves state government support. He says most doctors settle close to the hospitals where they did their residency training.

"So, insofar as we lose the opportunity to train them and get them to love Michigan, we also disenfranchise our people in terms of access to care," he says.

Kahn says Michigan will need an additional 20,000 physicians within 10 years. The final budget also dropped $10 million to help reimburse hospitals for the money they lose treating patients who do not have health insurance.