Physician workforce act becomes law in Alabama

Published 11:01 am Monday, June 12, 2023

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MONTGOMERY– A bill that aims to address Alabama’s doctor shortage and bolster the state’s physician workforce was signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey.

 Bill sponsors Sen. April Weaver and Rep. Paul Lee guided the Physician Workforce Act to overwhelming approval in the House and Senate.

The Physician Workforce Act will help recruit out-of-state physicians to practice in Alabama, accelerate licensure so international medical graduates can staff overcrowded hospitals and create an apprenticeship-like program for medical school graduates who are waiting to get placed into residency programs.

“By cutting unnecessary red tape and bureaucratic barriers, this bill will help us to recruit new doctors from elsewhere and retain the doctors we already have,” Weaver said.

Chairman of the House Health Committee Paul Lee called the bill “a common-sense approach to recruit more physicians and better utilize our existing physician workforce.”

Dr. George Koulianos, the president of the Medical Association of Alabama, thanked the legislators and Ivey for their efforts.

“There’s a growing shortage of physicians in Alabama and more patients are experiencing delays in getting medical care,” Koulianos said. “The Physician Workforce Act is an important step forward to ensure more Alabamians have access to the physician-led, team-based care they need and deserve. Every Alabamian will benefit from this bill, and we’re grateful to Gov. Ivey and our legislative leaders for getting these needed changes into law.”