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New Jersey Lawmakers Push Bill To Address Doctor Shortage

July 15, 2019 - 6:24 pm

TRENTON (WCBS 880) — There is a doctor shortage in New Jersey that is only expected to get worse, prompting a group of lawmakers to push legislation in Washington that they say will solve the problem.

As WCBS 880’s Kevin Rincon reported, New Jersey has not built up its medical fleets in recent years. The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates the state will need to pick up 2,800 new physicians in the next year.

Meanwhile, the doctors already in practice in New Jersey continue to age closer to retirement. In fact, the state has the third highest percentage of doctors over the age of 60.

“We face steep competition from the Philadelphia and New York job markets, and we need more funding for training programs to meet the demand for new residents,” explained Sen. Bob Menendez.

Overall, medical student enrollment has increased across the country. The problem, however, is that residency slots – which are partially funded by Medicare – were frozen by a hiring cap in 1996.

Menendez, and three other New Jersey lawmakers in Congress, have now introduced a bill that would modify that cap and increase residency slots by 3,000 a year over the next five years.