Bills expected to change medical environment in Utah

Rick Bowmer
Republican Rep. Keven Stratton, R-Orem, speaks at the Utah House of Representatives, in Salt Lake City on Feb. 22, 2017. Stratton is running legislation requiring doctors to tell women that a medication-induced abortion could be halted halfway through, though doctors’ groups say there is no data to back up that claim. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Abortion, Medicaid and medical school graduates were discussed during this year’s legislative session and will change the medical environment in Utah.

Graduate students can practice without residency

Rep. Stewart Barlow, R-Fruit Heights, said before HB396, medical school graduates were required to complete a year of residency after graduating before they could practice.

According to Barlow, many medical students get caught in limbo in between graduating and residency and are unable to practice despite being fully educated and prepared to do so.

HB396 will allow some graduates to work in certain areas before completing residency to help bridge the gap.

Areas that qualify will be determined by the Utah Department of Health but will be primarily focused in poorer or rural areas, according to Barlow.

New Medicaid Housing Coordinator position created

SB88 created a new government position to assist senior citizens in finding appropriate housing for their needs.

The bill sponsor, Sen. Jani Iwamoto, D-Salt Lake City, said seniors who leave nursing homes need other options besides assisted living. Sen. Iwamoto said these seniors thrive better in their own homes or apartments.

The new coordinator will work systematically over the state and focus on getting individuals into their ideal setting.

Mothers opting for medically induced abortion need all the information

Rep. Keven Stratton, R-Orem, sponsored a bill he said honors womanhood.

Mothers wishing to abort a current pregnancy can take two separately timed pills to terminate the pregnancy, according to Stratton.

One of Stratton’s constituents took the first pill and changed her mind. She called the clinic to see if there were any options and was told incorrectly there were none.

HB141 legally obligates professional abortion consultants to disclose all the options and consequences of a medically-induced abortion, even after a woman has taken the first pill. 

“Whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice or somewhere in between, we want to make sure there is good information given to the patient,” Stratton said.

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