HomeNewsHealth, Science & TechnologyKemp creates panel to address health-care workforce shortage

Kemp creates panel to address health-care workforce shortage

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by Dave Williams | Apr 21, 2022 | Capitol Beat News Service

ATLANTA – Gov. Brian Kemp issued an executive order Thursday creating a task force to look for ways to grow the ranks of Georgia’s health-care workforce.

The 15-member Healthcare Workforce Commission will focus on shortages plaguing a wide range of health-care professions including physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and emergency medical personnel.

Kemp’s executive order cites the pandemic as a contributor to a health-care workforce shortage that existed before COVID-19 struck two years ago.

“Our health-care heroes have been through it all during the pandemic, and we thank them immensely for the sacrifices made and dedication shown,” the governor said. “To ensure the future health of Georgians and Georgia’s health-care system, it is imperative for the public and private sector to come together and examine current needs and identify strategies for workforce recruitment and retention.”

Shortages among Georgia’s health-care workforce have long been on the radar screens of state policy makers. Most recently, the mental health system overhaul the General Assembly passed unanimously late last month includes a service-cancelable loan program offering loan forgiveness to several types of mental-health specialists.

The new commission will work to develop strategies for retaining the state’s current health-care workforce as well as expanding education initiatives – including scholarship and loan forgiveness programs – to build up the pipeline that feeds new workers into the system.

The panel will be chaired by the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Health and include representatives of doctors, nurses, emergency medical responders, mental health-care workers, long-term care workers, health-care educators and the hospital industry.

The executive order calls for the commission to issue recommendations by the end of December.

This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I can tell you reasons people are LEAVING healthcare positions, and that is money and loyalty. I know people who have not received a raise in 4 years, yet their job responsibilities have greatly increased due to either hiring freezes or the fact that people just are not applying. And please don’t tell us that the money isn’t available because it is. When hospitals are more than willing to pay “Travelers”….healthcare workers who work for an independent middleman recruiting company…often as much as 5 times as much as a staff worker, then it’s obvious. Each of the hospitals I’ve worked at have also too many unnecessary middle-management jobs, that are also extremely costly. I do think the plan that University has in place…to utilize their Summerville location as a training facility..will greatly help the Healthcare staffing needs of the area. However, I also think it’s time the area hospitals pay their current employees more, which would lead to better retention.
    One of my favorite old sayings, which I think is appropriate here, is “Never push a loyal employee to the point where they no longer care.”.

  2. So, we are going to focus more on recruitment…. From where? There is a nationwide shortage of healthcare workers. Is it going to become a bidding war that leaves the poorest states holding the bag? We need to look outside of the U.S. and recruit qualified workers that speak English. Require them to pass our standardized boards if necessary and fast lane them through the worker permit process.

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