SECTION 1. (a) There shall be a special commission to study and make recommendations regarding the licensing of foreign-trained medical professionals with the goal of expanding and improving medical services in rural and underserved areas.
(b) The commission shall consist of the following 17 members: 1 member appointed by the governor from the governor’s advisory council for refugees and immigrants; the secretary of the executive office of health and human services, or a designee, who shall serve as chair; the commissioner of public health, or a designee; 1 member appointed by the senate president; 1 member appointed by the speaker of the house; 1 member appointed by the minority leader of the senate; 1 member appointed by the minority leader of the house; the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on public health; 1 member of the board of registration of medicine; 1 member of the board of dentistry; 1 member of the board of registration in pharmacy; 1 member of the board of nursing; 1 member of the division of health professional licensure;1 member of the board of registration of psychology; 1 member of the board of allied health professionals and 1 representative of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition.
(c) The commission shall examine, report and make recommendation on topics including but not limited to: (1) implement strategies to integrate foreign-trained medical professionals into rural and underserved areas that are in need of medical services, (2) identify state and national licensing regulations that may pose unnecessary barriers to practice for foreign-trained medical professionals, (3) develop recommendations for corresponding changes to state licensing requirements (4) identify opportunities to advocate for corresponding changes to national licensing requirements, and (5) other matters pertaining to licensing foreign- trained medical professionals. The commission may hold hearings and invite testimony from experts and the public to gather information. The commission shall review and identify best practices learned from similar efforts in other states. The report may include guidelines for full licensure and conditional licensing of foreign-trained medical professionals.
(d) The commission shall file a report containing its recommendations, including legislation and regulations necessary to carry out its recommendations to the joint committee on public health and with the clerks of the house and senate no later than July 1, 2018.
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