The state Senate last week passed and sent to the state House legislation introduced by Senator Scott Hutchinson. from Oil City, intended to help the Pennsylvania National Guard in recruiting and retaining resident physicians.
The intent of the bill is to use state Educational Assistance Program funding to encourage such officers to continue their service in the National Guard. Military physicians do qualify for various federally-funded bonuses and incentive programs that include military obligations, but according to Hutchinson’s office, none of them currently require continued service in the National Guard.
A statement from Hutchinson says that, in the Pennsylvania National Guard, “Only a fraction of the available military physician positions are currently filled.” The Senator added the doctors “provide critical support during overseas deployments, contingency operations and domestic emergencies.”