Despite their recent financial successes, University of California medical centers may still be in jeopardy from state budget failings.

According to a recent press release, UC medical centers increased their revenue by 12 percent from 2008 to 2009, allowing them to contribute $400 million to the UC’s Health Science’s Training Program. The program, which is the largest in the nation, trains three out of every five medical students in California. As a reward for the medical centers’ success, the UC Regents approved $3.1 million to UC Health senior officials in January.

John Stobo, UC senior vice president for Health Sciences and Services, said in a press release that he is still concerned with the centers’ future in light of the UC Retirement Plan, health care reform and wage and capital commitments. The hospitals are scheduled to restart retirement plan payments to employees in April, amounting to $300 million per year, and the medical centers have taken on multiple projects ranging from updating to electronic medical records to making state-mandated seismic safety upgrades, which will cost approximately $4.5 billion over the next five years. Moreover, UC medical centers must also anticipate any strain health care reform may bring during upcoming years.

“The financial success of our hospitals and health professional schools are inextricably linked, and this success is fragile in these times,” Stobo said.

Although UCSB offers a wide range of degrees for students pursuing careers in the medical field, the university doesn’t have a medical facility of its own. However, the UC has five medical centers throughout the state, including locations in Irvine, San Diego, Los Angeles, Davis and San Francisco. Each center operates under an incentive pay plan with the hope of attracting the best talent and therefore producing the highest profits.

Czarina San Jose, a first-year biopsychology major, said pre-med students who wish to continue their schooling within the UC system are affected by the success of the UC medical centers.

“If I continue to pursue a medical degree, I am seriously considering UC San Francisco for graduate school,” San Jose said. “The medical program is highly acclaimed and I feel like the environment the school provides is perfect for me. But if in the upcoming years the UC medical centers cannot provide the same education and opportunities they can right now because of financial crisis, I will have to look into schools that can.”

Though these changes may affect the UC medical centers, Elizabeth Downing, UCSB Student Health director, said she believes students covered by Student Health insurance have nothing to fear.

“I foresee no changes with regard to the quality of care or services provided for students at UCSB,” Downing said. “I believe any upcoming adjustments will have no effect on Student Health.”