Chapter 15A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2000 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding after section 19A the following section:—Section 19B. There shall be a grant program for the purpose of encouraging outstanding students to enlist in the doctor and nursing facilities that service uninsured and low-income patients in the commonwealth by providing financial assistance for students enrolled in any qualified education program that is necessary to obtain a medical license, as defined below. The program shall be administered by the department of public health in accordance with guidelines promulgated by the department of public health. The program shall be subject to appropriation.The term “qualified education program” shall mean any program at an accredited educational facility that must be completed in order to obtain a degree in the medical field, or to obtain a medical practitioner’s license.The council shall promulgate guidelines governing the grant program for doctors and nurses. These guidelines shall include the following provisions:(1) Eligibility shall be limited to persons entering the doctor or nursing education program after July 1, 2009 who have signed a contract stating that they will work in a health clinic, established doctor’s office or medical facility that treats patients who are uninsured, or low-income, while they are attending school. These specific facilities will be deemed by the Public Health department;(2) The commonwealth shall pay a participating doctor’s or nurse’s costs incurred in being enrolled in a qualified education program at a rate not to exceed $150.00 per month for a period not to exceed 48 months;(3) Repayment shall be made to the participating doctor or nurse annually upon the presentation by the participating doctor or nurse of satisfactory evidence of enrollment in qualified education program, as well as satisfactory service to the commonwealth through medical facilities that treat low-income or uninsured patients;
(4) Payments by the commonwealth shall cover only costs made by the participating nurse or doctor in the months during which the participating nurse or doctor is actively enrolled in the education program in the commonwealth, and working with a designated medical facility;(5) The program will be limited to doctors and nurses who sign a contract to practice in health care facilities designated by the department of public health as caring for low-income or uninsured patients.Expenses for administration of the program may be retained in an interest bearing trust fund to be established by the department of public health and expended for the costs of administering the program without further appropriation, and any funds remaining in the trust at the termination of the program shall be returned of the General Fund.
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