AMA & MAG leaders weigh in on key federal advocacy issues

The American Medical Association (AMA) reports that it has sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence “urging the Administration to allow J-1, H-1B, and O-1 International Medical Graduates (IMGs) to be exempt from any future immigration bans or limitations so that these physicians can maintain their lawful non-immigrant status while responding to the urgent COVID-19 pandemic.”

AMA also signed a “coalition letter led by the Association of American Medical Colleges calling on the Administration and Congress to take regulatory or legislative action to maintain work authorization for individuals currently in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status during the COVID-19 national emergency.”

And Medical Association of Georgia President Andrew Reisman, M.D., and AMA President Patrice Harris, M.D., were quoted in a recent press release that was issued by the office of U.S. Sen. David Perdue that expressed “support for the Senate bill, the ‘Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act,’ which would recapture a limited number of unused visas from prior years and allocate them to doctors and nurses.”

Dr. Reisman stated that, “The Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act would help to ensure that the nation has enough physicians and nurses to care for patients who become ill during the COVID-19 outbreak. And this legislation is especially important for Georgia when you consider that the state ranks near the bottom, 44th specifically, when it comes to number of primary care physicians per person based on data that was in the 2020 ‘County Health Rankings and Roadmaps’ report.” 

Dr. Harris stressed that, “Physicians fighting COVID-19 are eager to hear these words: Reinforcements are on the way. Recapturing 15,000 unused immigrant visas for physicians through the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act would ease the burden on frontline physicians who are risking their lives in understaffed hospitals. This bipartisan legislation recognizes the physician shortage that existed before the pandemic and is getting more severe while the need for caregivers is growing daily.”

AMA letter to Vice President Pence

Coalition letter

Sen. Perdue’s ‘Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act’ press release