(April 30) – A bill that will support expanding medical access in rural Colorado passed the House Public Health & Human Services Committee today by a vote of ten to three.

SB13-264, sponsored in the House by Reps. Mike McLachlan (D-Durango) and Ed Vigil (D-Fort Garland), requires the Commission on Family Medicine to support the development of rural family medicine residency programs. Twenty percent of the population lives in rural areas but only nine percent of physicians practice there.

“Representing a rural area, I understand that we need more rural physicians,” Rep. McLachlan said. “This bill will encourage family medicine throughout Colorado, especially in those places, like my district, that need it most.”

Colorado has nine family medicine residency programs that graduate 68 family physicians each year, most of whom stay in Colorado to practice.

“Colorado has a real challenge with retaining and recruiting doctors to rural areas, and this program has been proven successful to help get those of us in rural Colorado better access to health care,” Rep. Vigil said.

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