A Danbury health care clinic is getting a big financial boost from the federal government thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
Nearly 3 million dollars was awarded to the Greater Danbury Health Center under the Affordable Care Act. It's one of 32 clinics across the country to receive such a grant. The grant will pay for three physician residents the first year and nine by year three. (Published Monday, Aug 26, 2013)
$2.7 million will help to train future primary care physicians over the next three years.
Christopher Yambay is one of three residents in the brand new program at the Greater Danbury Community Health Center.
"It's a nice thing that we get to see these patients," Yambay said. "We get to treat them and that way they don't have to go to the hospital if they get sick."
With an estimated 300,000 people in Connecticut expected to sign up for health insurance for the first time under Obamacare, there is a desperate need to add more primary care doctors.
"We don't have enough primary care physicians today," Sen. Chris Murphy, said.
The federal grant was awarded to 32 clinics around the country. The one in Danbury is the only clinic in the state with a primary care residency program.
"Health care reform only works if we have enough primary care physicians to take care of the 30 million people who are going to go from uninsured to insured," Murphy said.
For years medical students have opted not to go into primary care because of the long hours and lower pay.
More primary care doctors could mean more patients go for preventative care services and in the long term that could help drive down the cost for everyone.
"If you wait until you're so sick that you have to go to the emergency room, that's not good medical care," Jim Maloney, the CEO of Connecticut Institute for Communities, said.
The $2.7 million will be paid out to the Danbury clinic over the next three years. That clinic will start with three residents and will grow to nine by the third year.