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Sequestration Poses Severe Threat to America's Patients, Communities

Washington, D.C., March 1, 2013AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., issued the following statement about the impact of sequestration:

“Sequestration will have a serious effect on medical schools and teaching hospitals and the patients they serve. If they remain in place, these devastating cuts to medical research funding and support for doctor training to be implemented under sequestration will not just have an impact this year, they will have consequences for many years to come.

For instance, NIH spending decreases—on top of a decade of erosion in funding—will not only contribute to the loss of the next generation of scientists, they will delay medical progress that could help millions of patients and their families. Sequestration also will have a significant impact on institutions’ ability to invest in training the next generation of health professionals. Cutting federal funding that supports doctor training at teaching hospitals will exacerbate looming shortages of physicians and other health care providers, and jeopardize the life-saving care and critical services that teaching hospitals provide in their communities.  

Along with threatening the health of patients, sequestration would harm the economic well-being of communities across the country. Cuts to medical schools and teaching hospitals would result in more than 50,000 lost jobs, either those directly employed by institutions—such as doctors, nurses, other health professionals, scientists, or administrators—or others supported by the purchases of health care organizations and their employees.

To continue to improve our nation’s health and economic well-being, America needs more investment in medical research and the health care workforce, not less. Congress and the Obama administration must work together on a realistic solution that avoids the destructive consequences of continued cuts to programs that benefit all Americans.”

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The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association representing all 141 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and nearly 90 academic and scientific societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC represents 128,000 faculty members, 75,000 medical students, and 110,000 resident physicians. Additional information about the AAMC and U.S. medical schools and teaching hospitals is available at www.aamc.org/newsroom

Contact

Susan Beach
Senior Director, Strategic Communications
Telephone: 202-828-0983
E-mail: sbeach@aamc.org

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