Federal government pledges $ 100 million to address health worker shortages
As healthcare workers face an increase pandemic depletion, some states, particularly in underserved areas, have had difficulty retaining existing staff and recruiting new clinicians.
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is now committing $ 100 million through the US bailout to help solve the problem.
“Our healthcare workers have worked tirelessly to save lives throughout this pandemic and now it’s our turn to invest in them,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement. communicated.
“This investment is essential to ensure that state public health officials can continue to meet the specific needs of their communities,” he said.
The funds, which are now open for applications until April 8, 2022, are eligible “for state-run programs that support, recruit and retain primary care clinicians who live and work in underserved communities,” according to the HHS. The ministry hopes being able to retain health workers in underserved areas will help improve health equity.
In rural areas in particular, the struggle to hire and retain doctors existed long before pandemic, but the problem has worsened in recent years with COVID-19. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently declared that healthcare employment is down by 524,000 workers since February 2020.
While medical schools have reported that they are training more primary care physicians than ever before, the number of physicians entering primary care after residency drops meaningful, highlighting the need to help with recruitment efforts.
Since the start of the pandemic, surveys have shown a huge increase in stress, burnout, anxiety and depression among healthcare workers, especially women and people of color. Several medical workers said staff exhaustion was affecting patient care, also.
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