Doctor PhotoSPRINGFIELD – To improve the quality of health care for people living in rural parts of the state, State Senator Doris Turner (D-Springfield) is championing a measure to provide financial incentives to physicians who perform medical services in rural areas.

“Passing this bill will mean that people across the state will have an increased access to high quality health care,” said Turner. “We must work to improve access to quality care in rural Illinois.”

Private rural health clinics have opened in more recent years, providing the same quality care as hospitals in communities across the state. Physicians working in private clinics, at times in underserved areas, are not currently eligible for loan forgiveness even though they sometimes work in underserved areas. Senate Bill 3017 will ensure that if the physicians who work in private rural health facilities also receive loan forgiveness.

"Senate Bill 3017 will help enhance recruitment and retention efforts,” said Phil Johnson, MD with Litchfield Family Practice. “Doctors, physician assistants and advanced practice nurses for rural health care facilities are very concerned about both recruiting and retaining skilled medical staff.”

SB 3017 passed the Senate and will move to the House for further consideration.