American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Ensuring Access to General Surgery

As part of a multi-pronged effort to address workforce shortages, ACS successfully secured language in the FY 2019 appropriations bill that directed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), via Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA), to study access to general surgeons by underserved populations. In addition to the study, HRSA was directed to provide a report detailing potential surgical shortages, especially as it relates to geographic location (i.e., rural, urban, and suburban). This congressionally mandated report released in 2020 found a maldistribution of the surgical workforce, with widespread and critical shortages of general surgeons particularly in rural areas. ACS believes that the current data highlights an urgent need to establish a surgical shortage designation. Having a surgical shortage designation will allow for better resource allocation and incentives to practice in areas where we know there are not enough general surgeons.

HRSA General Surgeon Projection Report

The ACS strongly supports the Ensuring Access to General Surgery Act, which would direct the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the HRSA, to study and define general surgery workforce shortage areas and collect data on the adequacy of access to surgical services. Additionally, it would grant the Secretary of HHS with the authority to establish a general surgery shortage area designation.

Take Action: Contact Congress in Support of the Ensuring Access to General Surgery Act

ACS Statement to the Senate HELP Subcommittee on Workforce Shortages (5/19/2021)

ACS Letter of Support for S. 1593, the Ensuring Access to General Surgery Act of 2021 (5/13/2021)

Previous Congressional Efforts