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Talent. Smarts. Ingenuity. Brilliance.

Whatever you call it, when it comes to fixing a problem there is no substitute for intelligent people with the appropriate skills and training.

Which is why the West Virginia Rural Health Association supports efforts to encourage hardworking medical professionals to live and work in this state, to grow the local talent pool and to improve the health services available here.

The proposal: A tax credit for doctors that locate their practice in West Virginia.

There has been a proposal introduced to the West Virginia State Legislature to do just that, and we think it’s worth supporting.

State Sen. Dr. Tom Takubo (R-Kanawha) has introduced a bill – Senate Bill 103 – that would provide a tax credit for graduates of any accredited allopathic or osteopathic medical school in the United States that locate their practice in West Virginia.

The proposal is spurred by his belief, which is shared by many other medical professionals here, that West Virginia may soon find itself with a chronic shortage of doctors and health care workers.

“I don’t think people appreciate the crisis we’re potentially heading to,” Takubo told the State Journal this week.

The bill states that West Virginia already suffers from “a tremendous lack of physicians.”

“This creates a crisis in the delivery of health care services to one of the unhealthiest populations in the nation,” the bill language reads. “As a state we need to seek ways to attract qualified physicians to locate here to provide our citizens necessary health care services and to promote the general good health of this state.”

The bill is currently one of 32 bills scheduled for deliberation in the Senate Finance Committee.

Here’s a list of the senators that make up the finance committee. If you are concerned about the shortage of doctors in West Virginia and support this bill, give one of them a call and urge them to pass Senate Bill 103.

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