MU School of Medicine could lose funding in Greitens proposed budget

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COLUMBIA - Gov. Eric Greitens' proposed 2018 fiscal year budget includes cutting funding for MU School of Medicine programs designed to provide more doctors and more space.

According to MU Medical School Dean Patrice Delafontaine, the School of Medicine Class Expansion and Springfield Clinical Campus Project will add more than $390 million each year to Missouri’s economy and provide more than 300 additional physicians for Missouri.

If state funding is eliminated for the two projects, it could be difficult to hire more staff and run the projects as planned, Delafontaine said.

“While this is disappointing news, we remain committed to the project and its ability to help fulfill our mission of improving the health of all people, especially Missourians, through exemplary education, research and patient-centered care,” Delafontaine said.

According to Greitens' budget proposal, 9 percent of the state’s general revenue operating budget would go toward higher education. It cuts almost $56 million from the core funding of four-year institutions.

Greitens announced in January he will withhold $4 million of the MU Cooperative Medicine Program's $10 million appropriation for the fiscal year.

“We had to make some difficult choices,” Greitens said in the proposed budget. “We must come together, tighten our belts, be smart and wise with our tax dollars, and work our way out of this hole by bringing more jobs with higher pay to the people of Missouri.”

Delafontaine said the state and nation are in desperate need of more physicians. He said he believes the MU School of Medicine benefits the community.

“We remain committed to working closely with our new governor and General Assembly in making the case for the medical school’s enormous positive impact on all of Missouri’s residents and economy,” Delafontaine said.

The school of medicine's expansions will currently proceed as planned.