Assemblyman Rob Bonta Calls for Limits on Contracting of State Doctor Work

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today,the largest union representing licensed physicians and dentists, the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD), announced the introduction of Assembly Bill 657. The legislation authored by Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) and sponsored by UAPD, amends the State Civil Services Act by establishing standards for the use of personal services contracts when the contracting agency demonstrate that contracting out public services result in actual cost savings to the State.

“All Californians should have access to quality and consistent care. We need to prioritize hiring full-time state employed professionals who can fill important vacancies across state departments thereby providing patients a consistent care experience,” said Assemblyman Bonta. “AB 657 will help ensure individuals seeking health care receive continuity of care.”

This bill would prohibit a state agency from entering into a contract with a professional for a period of more than 365 consecutive days or for a period of 365 nonconsecutive days over two years. The bill would define “professional” to include, among others, a physician and surgeon, dentist, clinical psychologist, and pharmacist.

“Since Covid-19 arrived the continuity of medical and psychiatric care has taken on greater importance, particularly at state prisons and hospitals where cases have skyrocketed,” said Stuart Bussey, MD, JD, President of UAPD. “It is time to reform the Civil Service Act to ensure that long-term, committed physician employees, and not short term sporadic physician contractors bear responsibility for seeing to the health care needs of the state’s vulnerable patients and incarcerated individuals.”

Assemblyman Rob Bonta of Oakland serves as a member of the California State Assembly Committee on Health and the Committee on Government Organization.