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Fortify Delaware healthcare by reversing decision to cut funding for medical education

This petition had 473 supporters

On June 28, 2016, Delaware lawmakers voted to cut all funding for the Delaware Institute of Medical Education and Research (DIMER) program, which allows the state of Delaware to reserve 30 spots at medical colleges in Philadelphia for Delaware residents. The annual cost of $2.9 million to “rent” a medical college is truly one of the biggest bargains in the state budget. In realizing the negative implications of this cut, Delaware representatives voted to restore funding, but only for current students enrolled in these medical programs. However, this temporary solution does nothing to provide future education for Delaware residents who wish to attend medical school and practice in their home state.

Having a state medical college is key to attracting physicians to the area and providing medical education to Delaware residents who would likely choose to stay in the area. According to DelawareOnline, the odds of a Delawarean being admitted to Sidney Kimmel Medical College in Philadelphia are about 25%, compared to the overall admission rate of approximately 2.5%. This decision to eliminate future funding makes Delaware the only state in the United States without a medical school or a formal program to provide medical education to its residents. By putting Delaware residents at a significant disadvantage from receiving a medical education, we are decreasing the likelihood of attracting our best and brightest citizens who wish to study medicine from practicing here. Presently, 200 of our current doctors in Delaware received their medical education through DIMER. Defunding DIMER would only worsen the already present physician work shortage. Our community needs both quality and quantity when it comes to health providers in our state, especially to care for our most vulnerable populations.

The future of quality healthcare in Delaware is still in jeopardy. The only way to ensure that we don’t get left behind as the rest of the country moves forward is to completely re-fund the DIMER program to support medical education for Delaware residents.  I urge you to sign and share this petition if you support state public health and medical education.

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