Family Physicians ‘Deeply Disappointed’ in Proposed Cut in Funds for Training
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237, Ext. 5224
“We support providing federal funds to help train family physicians, the health care specialty most likely to serve underserved rural and urban populations. In fact, the subcommittee recommended giving community health centers a $100,000 increase over current funding. What has been overlooked in the process is the fact that nearly half of the physicians who staff community health centers are family physicians. Unless Congress appropriates funds needed to train the future family physicians who will ultimately staff these centers, patients will remain underserved.
"By providing both acute and chronic care for the majority of people in these underserved areas, family physicians are acknowledged as the backbone of healthcare delivery and essential to addressing the many concerns of those patients. Family physicians are trained to adapt to the specific needs of communities...and some of this training is in jeopardy.
“Section 747 is the only federal program for training family physicians to give this care. The AAFP will be working to increase the funding for this crucial program as the appropriations process continues.
“We are, however, pleased with the subcommittee’s request to continue the current level of funding for the essential work of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. While we had hoped for an increase for this necessary work, it is important at least to maintain the work of the agency to translate the basic science research of the National Institutes of Health into information doctors can use in their practices. AHRQ also distributes this information throughout the health care system. In short, AHRQ is the link between research and the health care that Americans receive.”
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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 110,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.
Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is 240 million office visits each year — nearly 87 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.
To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.FamilyDoctor.org.