The Montana Hospital Association (MHA) recognizes the challenge of recruiting and retaining a qualified health care workforce in rural Montana. It is imperative that the state address the shortage of primary care physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and other necessary providers with feasible solutions that integrate quality education and training strategies to ensure the sustainability of our health care system.
Investments in Montana’s medical infrastructure are investments in the state’s health and economy. MHA’s corollary strategies are based on the following factors:
Improved access to medical education in Montana
MHA has sought expansion of opportunity for medical education at all levels of training, and for a broad spectrum of health care professionals. Priority must be given to proven pathways of education that maximize the establishment and maintenance of rural practice.
Continued development of primary care residency programs
Existing programs in Montana have demonstrated success in the retention of graduates specializing in family medicine, general medicine, pediatrics and other disciplines. Further development of residency training will help to ensure a continued supply of skilled clinicians.
Ongoing participation in WWAMI and current residency programs
These programs meet members’ goals of improving local access to quality, affordable and effective health care. MHA will continue to work to secure federal and state policies that enhance Montana’s population health without jeopardizing these successful programs.