Senate Panel Launches Effort to Shore Up Health Workforce and Ease Crippling Shortages

Posted February 22, 2023

A key Senate panel is launching a major effort to shore up the healthcare workforce after lingering shortages have roiled the industry.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing Thursday addressing the crisis. Some of the policy solutions include expanding the Graduate Medical Education program and growing teaching health centers.

“A shortage of healthcare personnel was a problem before the pandemic and now it has gotten worse,” said HELP Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont. “Health care jobs have gotten more challenging and, in some cases, more dangerous.”

Sanders said Thursday that in the next decade there will be a shortage of more than 120,000 doctors as well as a massive need for 450,000 nurses within the next two years. The staffing shortage has been particularly acute among nurses, as hospitals have turned to pricey contract labor to shore up capacity.

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