PDA Supports Pennsylvania’s Health Practitioner Loan Forgiveness Program
PDA supports legislative efforts to increase funding in the Department of Health’s health practitioner loan forgiveness program. The state forgives up to $64,000 of a dentist’s student debt in exchange for a certain amount of time practicing in a health professional shortage area. But because most graduating dentists accumulate an average of $165,000 in debt, PDA believes more funding in the program will incentivize dentists to practice in underserved areas.
Currently, only general dentists may apply for the program. Recognizing the need to provide more access to children, PDA would also like the program’s eligibility requirements to include pediatric dentists.
PDA believes additional funding and changes to eligibility requirements will attract more dentists to the state, and improve access to care in underserved areas by placing dentists in the communities themselves, rather that have patients seek care far from their homes.