AHA on healthcare workforce shortages: 'Where do we go from here?'

The American Hospital Association is calling on Congress to take action toward addressing workforce challenges that have become "a national emergency."

In a Feb. 16 statement to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions entitled "Examining Health Care Workforce Shortages: Where Do We Go From Here?" the AHA said the critical state of things demands "immediate attention from all levels of government and workable solutions."

The memo cites issues ranging from staffing shortages, violence in the workplace and the need to support healthcare students. It notes that many of the critical issues facing the healthcare workforce existed before the pandemic and were only further exacerbated by it — furthering the crucial need for the government to step in. 

"The result of these mounting pressures on the health care workforce has created a historic workforce crisis complete with real-time short-term staffing shortages and a daunting long-range picture of an unfulfilled talent pipeline," it states. 

Outlined solutions the AHA suggests include "increasing the number of residency slots eligible for Medicare funding," call for support for education and loan forgiveness, working to eliminate racism and inequities across all areas of healthcare nationwide and supporting policies that ensure enhanced workplace safety for healthcare professionals, among other things. 

"We must work together to solve these issues so that our nation's hospitals and health systems can continue to care for the patients and communities they serve," the memo concludes. 

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