Community health centres in the US have received grants of $851m as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to improve access to healthcare across the US.

First Lady Michelle Obama announced the funding and said that it is aimed at serving the increasing number of US citizens who cannot continue with insurance due to the economic downturn and soaring costs.

The Recovery Act Capital Improvement Program grants include the construction, repair and renovation of over 1,500 health centre sites across the US.

The funds will be used by more than 650 centres to buy new equipment or health information technology systems and around 400 centres will deploy and expand the use of electronic health records.