New program to expand medical care in the works

The Butte-Glenn Medical Society and California Health and Wellness launched a new program Friday with aims to bring ample opportunity for medical education to the area and grow healthcare.

Posted: Feb 29, 2020 10:08 PM
Updated: Feb 29, 2020 10:58 PM

OROVILLE, Calif. - The Butte-Glenn Medical Society and California Health and Wellness launched a new program Friday with aims to bring ample opportunity for medical education to the area and grow healthcare.

"The community continues to grow the needs continue to grow," David Alonso, President of the Medical Society said. "Following the Camp Fire we lost about 10 to 15 percent of our physician community that numbers about 40 physicians."

Alonso says physicians are known to stay and practice in the community where they trained.

"There is a high percentage of that and we don't have any training programs for physicians in our community, so in a way to help bring more physicians to our community we'd like to see more training programs," he said. "A physician needs to go through a training program called residency too before they actually go through caring for patients on their own."

Those programs require resources and funding.

Alonso says local hospitals and medicals centers like the Feather River Tribal Health Center have expressed interest in collaborating with the partnership once the program establishes funds.

$25-million in funding that Assemblyman Gallagher and Senator Nielsen are pushing for.

"As a health plan we strive to collaborate with the communities we serve," said Ramiro Zuniga, Vice President and Medical Director of California Health and Wellness said. 

Zuniga says there is a shortage of health care providers throughout the state.

"And that is more critical in rural areas we as a health plan want to ensure that our members have the specialists to take care of their health care needs it is only through developing innovative ways like educating physicians locally that we can reach that goal," Zuniga said.

Funding is still in the process but Assemblyman Gallagher says he doesn't expect opposition from the legislation.

This is a long-term goal the partnership is hoping to achieve over the next two to four years.

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