John F. Kennedy photo

Remarks Upon Signing the Health Professions Educational Assistance Act

September 24, 1963

It gives me great satisfaction to approve the Health Professions Educational Assistance Act of 1963, the culmination of 14 years of effort by many devoted and dedicated citizens. The construction of urgently needed facilities for training physicians, dentists, nurses, and other professional health personnel can now begin. More talented but needy students will now be able to undertake the long and expensive training for careers in medicine, dentistry, and osteopathy.

With the accelerated national effort initiated by this act, better use will be made of the wealth of new medical knowledge now being gathered in research laboratories throughout the land to maintain and improve the health of our growing population. We will be able to provide to those most frequently in need of medical care--the aged, the chronically ill, the mentally ill, and the mentally retarded--more of the kind of attention that modern medicine makes possible.

The measures authorized by this act cannot accomplish all the goals we have envisioned. But it is a good beginning, a firm foundation on which to build in the future. The legislative history of the act makes it clear that the intent was to inaugurate a program of action which can be reevaluated after a suitable period of time. This will enable the Congress to consider further measures after some experience with the program has accumulated.

I would like to sign this act because it is one of the most significant health measures passed by the Congress in recent years, and I want to express my appreciation to the Members of Congress who worked on it-Congressman Harris, who labored for a very long time on it, Senator Hill, Senator Pastore, and others who are here today who, I think, take a good deal of satisfaction in this legislation.

Note: The President spoke at 9:30 a.m. in his office at the White House. At the close of his remarks he referred to Representative Oren Harris of Arkansas, Senator Lister Hill of Alabama, and Senator John O. Pastore of Rhode Island.

As enacted, the bill (H.R. 12) is Public Law 88-129 (77 Slat. 164).

John F. Kennedy, Remarks Upon Signing the Health Professions Educational Assistance Act Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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