(410 ILCS 65/2) (from Ch. 111 1/2, par. 8052)
    Sec. 2. The General Assembly finds that citizens in the rural, downstate and designated shortage areas of this State are increasingly faced with problems in accessing necessary health care. The closure of small rural hospitals, the inability of these areas to attract new physicians, the elimination of existing physician services because of increasing practice costs, including the cost of providing malpractice insurance, and the lack of systems of emergency medical care contribute to the access problems experienced by these residents. While Illinois is not unique in experiencing these problems, the need to maintain or enhance the economies of these areas of the State requires that new and innovative strategies be identified and implemented to respond to the health care needs of residents of these areas. It is therefore the intent of this General Assembly to create a program to respond to this problem.
    For purposes of this Act, "designated shortage areas" means medically underserved areas or health manpower shortage area as defined by the United States Department of Health and Human Services or as otherwise designated by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
(Source: P.A. 91-357, eff. 7-29-99.)