Hawaii to offer $30M in loan repayment to medical professionals

September 13, 2023

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – A $30 million educational loan repayment program to address the growing shortages of physicians and other healthcare professionals across the islands was announced Saturday by Gov. Josh Green.

Hawaii will be the first state in the country to offer to pay student debt for eligible health professionals in the state.

The program responds to the state’s critical shortage of doctors and nurses — and will cost taxpayers millions of dollars to pull off.

The program was developed by the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, the State Department of Health and funded by the State Legislature.

Over the last 10 years, the Hawaii State Loan Repayment Program has helped about 90 people working in nonprofit, government, and rural health care with their student loans.

“This announcement is the result of many years’ worth of effort,” Governor Green said.

“I’m thinking back to my time working with colleagues in the state legislature on this loan repayment program and other ways to resolve the shortage of healthcare providers, so it is very rewarding to see it come to fruition so generously funded.”

Any licensed health professional with student debt would be eligible, including doctors, therapists, nurses, and medical social workers. Repayment would be $25,000 per year in urban Oahu and $50,000 annually in rural areas or high-demand fields like primary or mental health care.

In exchange for two years of full-time or half-time service in Hawaii, healthcare professionals will qualify for loan repayments starting at $12,500 and capped at $50,000.

The eligible amount varies depending on the profession, location of practice, and educational indebtedness. All must provide care to, or work for organizations that provide care to, at least 30% of publicly insured patients.

Read original article here