Florida Gov. Rick Scott's proposed $74.2 billion budget
does not contain money for Medicaid expansion, but it does contain $80 million in graduate medical education funding to pay for additional residency training positions for new doctors in the state.
“We want physicians, educated in Florida, to practice in Florida,” said Dr. Bob Watson, professor of clinical sciences (PDF)
and former executive associate dean for administrative affairs at the Florida State University College of Medicine, in a news release. “The governor's budget proposal will ensure that Florida families have physicians to care for them.”
According to the Department of Health release, a focus of the residency slots will be training for primary care and general surgery. The release noted that “physicians most commonly practice close to where they trained in residency.”
The move was applauded by the Florida Medical Association.
“The FMA is thrilled that Gov. Scott has made graduate medical education a priority in his budget recommendations,” Timothy Stapleton, FMA executive vice president, said in an e-mailed news release. “His commitment to GME funding will pay dividends to the state of Florida for years to come.” On Twitter, Stapleton said the money was enough to create 700 new residency positions.