(photo) Sen. Somers Applauds Senate Passage of Bill Enhancing Health Care Access and Addressing Health Care Workforce Shortages

May 25, 2023

For Immediate Release

Sen. Somers Applauds Senate Passage of Bill Enhancing Health Care Access and Addressing Health Care Workforce Shortages

Sen. Heather Somers, the Ranking Senator on the Public Health Committee, today applauded the State Senate’s May 25 unanimous passage of a multi-faceted bill which enhances health care access and takes multiple steps toward addressing the state’s health care workforce shortages.  The legislation, which Sen. Somers co-introduced with the Public Health Committee’s Senate Co-Chair Saud Anwar, now awaits a vote in the House of Representatives.

“We worked tirelessly – and in bipartisan fashion – to move this common sense, comprehensive health care legislation forward,” Sen. Somers said.  “Our mutual goal at the State Capitol is to make Connecticut a role model for the nation in terms of our public health policies.  This bill moves us toward that goal.”

The bill contains policies to:

  • enhance access to physical, mental and behavioral health care
  • address the opioid and fentanyl epidemic
  • retain and increase Connecticut’s healthcare workforce, including doctors, nurses, and physician assistants
  • encourage more individuals to embark on nursing instruction careers
  • addresses primary care physician shortage
  • review emergency room crowding in state hospitals
  • establish a personal care attendant career pathway program to aid the workforce of that field
  • ease the process of receiving advanced practice registered nursing licenses for qualified applicants
  • conduct a study of rural health challenges, including emergency services
  • expose students to the possibility of health care provider careers
  • increase funding for the state to make bulk purchases of the opioid antagonist Narcan

“An important part of this bill is that it enables first responders to provide Narcan toolkits and fact sheets on addiction directly to the individuals and family members they respond to,” Sen. Somers said.  “I am very proud of the legislation’s focus on health care workforce development and how it encourages people of all ages to consider entering health care careers. It also focuses on ways to help Connecticut to retain and attract primary care doctors.”

Sen. Somers said that if the legislation receives final passage into law, she will work to help make eastern Connecticut residents and workers aware of its many components.

“This bill contains many smart policies which can help enhance health care accessibility, save lives, prevent tragedies, and address our workforce needs,” Sen. Somers said. “I thank my colleagues in the senate for working in such a collaborative and deliberative fashion to achieve this final product.”

On the web: www.SenatorSomers.com