State Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) issued a statement today regarding Emanuel Medical Center's announcement that it will be closing its two Emanuel Family Practice clinics in Turlock and Patterson next month. In January, Cannella introduced SB 131, legislation that would increase funding for the San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education (SJV PRIME), an innovative program operated by the University of California (UC) that brings more physicians to the region.
"These two clinic closures will have devastating effects on our community and further proves our area is woefully underserved," said Cannella. "The San Joaquin Valley is disproportionately affected by California’s physician shortage with access to healthcare 31% lower than the rest of the state, and sadly, these closures deepen the gap, solidifying the fact that we are in dire need of physicians to serve the more than four million people living in our region."
Coauthored by Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Manteca), Assembly Leader Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto) and Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Modesto), SB 131 would expand healthcare resources throughout the San Joaquin Valley by providing annual funding from the state’s General Fund to the UC and expand the program to enroll up to 12 student admissions per class and 48 students annually across the four-year curriculum.
"Receiving adequate healthcare shouldn’t be based on where you live, and I believe a vibrant community depends on a healthy community,” said Cannella. "SB 131 would train more physicians in our region – and more important – keep these physicians in our region, promoting healthcare equity and reducing healthcare provider disparities, which is imperative for ensuring our communities stay physically, economically and fiscally healthy.