Proposal in Sacramento would double enrollment at UC Riverside School of Medicine - Press Enterprise by Jeff Horseman

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Hoping to stave off “a public health crisis” from afflicting the Inland Empire, Riverside’s delegation to Sacramento wants tens of millions of dollars in state funding so UC Riverside’s medical school can double its enrollment.

State Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, announced Wednesday, Jan. 9 his sponsorship of a bill, SB 56, to spend $80 million on “a dedicated facility” for the UCR School of Medicine that would take its enrollment from 250 to 500 students. The bill also seeks $25 million in ongoing state support for an expanded school, an increase from the $15 million it gets now.

A bigger school would bring more doctors to a region with one of the nation’s most severe shortages of primary care physicians, Roth said in a news release.

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

Assembly members Sabrina Cervantes and Jose Medina, both D-Riverside, support the bill.

“Expanding the School of Medicine will allow UCR to continue providing advanced medical care, train more physicians, and keep up with the demands of our growing region,” Cervantes said.

“We need to invest in the expansion of the UCR Medical School to ensure that the Inland Empire, which is historically underserved, has sufficient access to high-quality health care for years to come,” Medina said.