US President Barack Obama has granted $508.5m for construction and renovation projects at 85 community health centres under the $787bn economic stimulus programme.

The grants will be used to construct facilities and speed up the adoption of e-health record technology at local health centres in more than 30 states, the White House said.

The funds will also create new jobs in healthcare and construction and provide medical care for more than half a million more people in underserved communities.

According to the administration statement, community health centres treat more than 17 million patients, 40% of whom do not have health insurance.