Yosemite Medical Clinic Legislation Passes House Floor
H.R. 3607 by Congressman McClintock to address continued operation of the Yosemite Medical Clinic passed the House floor on April 16th.
The legislation addresses all national park medical clinics, assuring that funds generated by clinics be retained by those clinics.
Congressman McClintock delivered the following House floor remarks in support of the legislation:
The National Park Service currently manages 11 units that provide medical services to park visitors, employees, and nearby residents including Yosemite in my district, Yellowstone, Zion, the Grand Canyon, and Death Valley. These include emergency medical services, ambulance transport and clinical services. They treat colds, set broken bones, stabilize heart attacks and strokes, evacuate the severely injured and treat thousands of patients annually.
These National Park units are typically located in remote areas, which means they are often the only option patients have to receive timely medical care, especially in emergencies.
In the case of Yosemite, the medical clinic has operated in the Valley since 1929. Like other medical clinics in our national parks, it serves the park and concessionaire employees, their families, and tens of thousands of daily park visitors.
The Yosemite Medical Clinic is a million-dollar-a-year operation, maintaining a full-time staff and sophisticated medical equipment to serve the population of a moderately sized town.
But here is the problem. Any other medical clinic would be able to use the fees it collects to finance its operations; to plan for amortizing equipment purchases and expansions, and to match its expenses to the revenues it generates.
Not so our National Park medical clinics. Under current law, those fees must go directly to the national treasury, and the parks must then rely on annual appropriations to replace those funds – with no certainty they will return and no ability to plan long-term improvements.
This bill changes that.
H.R. 3607 establishes a “National Park Medical Services Fund” at the Treasury. The fund will consist of fees collected for medical services provided to persons in units of the National Park System and other donations.
My bill will help the National Park Service to provide higher quality patient care with industry standard equipment and technology, assist with training relating to providing the necessary medical services, develop management plans for medical facilities, and obtain or improve medical facilities, equipment, vehicles, and other needs and costs of providing medical services to visitors and staff at our National Parks.
I urge adoption of the measure.
The legislation next goes to the Senate.