SENATE MEASURES TO ADDRESS DOCTOR SHORTAGE SIGNED INTO LAW
HONOLULU, Hawai‘i – Measures that address the State’s growing demand for healthcare providers were signed into law on June 13 in a formal ceremony in the office of Governor David Ige.
Senator Rosalyn Baker (Dist. 6 - South and West Maui) Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, introduced Senate Bills 2298 and 2653 to address the primary care provider shortage in Hawai‘i, particularly on the neighbor islands.
SB2298, now Act 43, creates a tax credit to volunteer healthcare professionals who serve as preceptors for students training to become primary care physicians, advanced practice registered nurses, and pharmacists. It also creates the Preceptor Credit Assurance Committee to develop and implement a plan to certify the tax credits and implement the tax credit program. The Department of Health is required to evaluate the tax credit program and report to the Legislature no later than June 30, 2024.
“It’s encouraging to see the number of students who want to enter the medical field. Having instructors who can teach, support, coach and serve as role models in developing these future providers is incredibly important at a time when we’re facing a critical shortage of doctors and nurses and this tax credit will encourage more healthcare professionals to volunteer their time to do so,” said Sen. Baker.
To provide an expedited and efficient process for qualified out-of-state physicians to gain licensure in Hawai‘i, SB2653, now Act 44, establishes licensure by endorsement requirements for physicians, surgeons, and osteopathic physicians. This will provide greater access to medical care and address the high volume of applications received from doctors who want to work in Hawai‘i. This new law does not lessen the Hawai‘i Medical Board’s legislative mandate to protect Hawai‘i consumers from unsafe and incompetent health care practitioners.
“Increased access to health care is vitally important and by streamlining the process as to granting licensure for qualified physicians who want to relocate to our islands, we can help ensure greater health and well-being for our residents,” said Sen. Baker.