Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (DN.Y.) is co-sponsoring a bill to help infectious disease doctors and health care workers pay off student loans.
“We need to help remove the financial barrier and make these jobs available to everyone,” Gillibrand said at a news conference last week.
The Infection Preparedness Workforce Enhancement Act would authorize a $50 million student loan repayment program.
People who work with infectious disease and biological preparedness — such as physicians, clinical pharmacists, physician assistants, and nurses registered in advanced practice — can earn up to $50,000 for each year of service.
People can repay loans of up to $150,000 using the program.
Gillibrand used the background of the COVID-19 pandemic in addressing the bill. “Our doctors and medical professionals are underwhelmed for understandable reasons,” She said, noting that one in five American doctors has left their jobs since the pandemic began.
“This creates a vicious cycle that stresses employees,” She continued, saying that workers in the field of infectious diseases in particular. “We need these workers and their expertise.”
The bill is co-sponsored by Gillibrand and Democratic senators Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Jackie Rosen of Nevada and Ben Cardin of Maryland, along with Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
Gillibrand said the bill has been approved by the American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association.