SoCal Senator Introduces Bill To Address State Physician Shortage

Sacramento, CA — A Democratic senator from the Inland Empire is hoping to tackle California’s physician shortage.

Senator Richard Roth of Riverside is introducing Senate Bill 56 that will set aside a one-time payment for the construction of a new medical facility at the University of California Riverside School of Medicine.

“We actually have about 35 primary care physicians for about 100,000 people in Inland Southern California and it really should be 60 to 80 primary care physicians for 100,000 people,” said Roth. “And the ratio of specialists to population is similarly low.”

Roth says the physician disparity in the Inland Empire and in the state is the result of several things including population growth and the lack of expansion of medical residency programs. He believes California is facing a developing healthcare crisis.

“We need more doctors if we’re going to enroll people in Covered California and promise them insurance. We need to provide physicians to treat them.”

Senate Bill 56 would appropriate $80-million for the construction of a dedicated UCR medical facility and an additional $25-million in operational support. The goal is to train and graduate more healthcare workers to meet that state’s demands.

Senator Roth says he’s happy that Governor Gavin Newsom plans to heavily invest in the state’s healthcare system.

“Inland Southern California is experiencing a surge in its economy and population as the region veers into a public health crisis. If we don’t act now to alleviate this dire need we will regret it,” stated Roth.

The bill is supported by Democratic Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes of Corona and Democratic Assemblymember Jose Medina of Riverside.


James Rojas, AM 790 KABC

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