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Report To The People

House Bill Helps Medical Center Recruit Teachers

By Tommy Reynolds

The House of Representatives last week passed House Bill 724 that is designed to assist the University of Mississippi Medical Center in recruiting necessary teaching professionals at this Facility.  I introduced this Bill at the request of the Medical Center where our state’s doctors are trained.  The Bill would allow the Medical Center to offer incentives such as moving and transfer assistance, payment of medical school loans and other supplements to attract the teaching professionals necessary to train Mississippi’s future physicians, physical therapists and many other health professionals.

In addition to training Mississippi’s physicians, the University Medical Center also treats many thousands of Mississippi residents each year.  Dr. Dan Jones, Vice-Chancellor and head of the Medical Center, in a meeting with the Appropriations subcommittee I chair, last week estimated that last year alone there were over 500,000 outpatient visits made to the Medical Center.  The Medical Center will admit 120 freshmen this fall which is an increase over past year’s class sizes.  Dr. Jones pointed out that our state had a very high ratio of patients to doctors and that the training of more doctors and other medical professionals is essential to meeting the health care needs of the state.

The State Senate has amended an earlier House passed cigarette tax increase and passed the bill—though at a lower level of increase than the House had approved.  This will likely make necessary a conference committee between the houses to resolve differences on the measure.  The House wants to use a portion of the increase to offset cuts to education that are having a deep effect on many school districts with low per  student property tax bases.

If I can be of  any assistance to you please call on me.  My phone number in Jackson during the session is (601) 359-3365.  The phone number in my Charleston office is (662) 647-3203, and my residence phone number is (662) 473-2571.  I can also be contacted by writing me at my home address of 15 CR 429, Water Valley, MS 38965, or at my office address of   P.O. Box 220, Charleston, MS  38921.   

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