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Legislative findings.

*** CHANGE IN 2019 *** (SEE 1668-S2.SL) ***
The legislature finds that changes in demographics, the delivery of health care services, and an escalation in the cost of educating health professionals has resulted in shortages of health professionals. A poor distribution of health care professionals has resulted in a surplus of some professionals in some areas of the state and a shortage of others in other parts of the state such as in the more rural areas. The high cost of health professional education requires that health care practitioners command higher incomes to repay the financial obligations incurred to obtain the required training. Health professional shortage areas are often areas that have troubled economies and lower per capita incomes. These areas often require more services because the health care needs are greater due to poverty or because the areas are difficult to service due to geographic circumstances. The salary potentials for shortage areas are often not as favorable when compared to nonshortage areas and practitioners are unable to serve. The legislature further finds that encouraging health professionals to serve in shortage areas is essential to assure continued access to health care for persons living in these parts of the state.
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