Health Care

Access to health care is a critical issue for El Paso, the state, and the nation. El Paso suffers from a severe shortage of doctors and other health care professionals, a lack of medical infrastructure, and a high uninsured population.

José will work to expand the Texas Tech University Medical School into a Health Sciences Center with new schools of nursing, dentistry, and pharmacy; promote the growth of the Medical Center of the Americas, and support the medical community on health care regulatory reform and other issues that impact access to health care. [Health Science Community Briefing Part I: Biomedicine and ED]

In the 82nd Legislature, José authored the following legislation:

Employment: The bill allows the El Paso County Hospital District to directly employ physicians and dentists, with the goal of decreasing the region’s health care shortage. [Senate Bill 860*]

Dental school: Requires the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to study the feasibility of establishing a dental school in El Paso; currently, El Paso County has 28 dentists per 100,000 residents, falling far short of the state average of 45 per 100,000. [SB 1020]

Medical licensing: Allows international medical graduates to apply for and receive a medical license after completing two full years of residency training instead of three years.** [SB 860]

Social work licensing: Allows an individual who holds a Master’s or Baccalaureate degree from a social work program in candidacy for accreditation to be eligible to take the social work licensure exam. This will help to ensure that social work degree holders can sit for the exam and enter the workforce as licensed social workers if they prove competency through the licensure exam process. [House Bill 1797]

Health Care News and Statements