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HCL International Expects Boost

HCL International Expects Boost from US Healthcare Reform

US will need to recruit large numbers of international healthcare professionals in order to fulfill $615 billion healthcare overhaul plan

HCL International, part of HCL plc, the UKs largest health and social care staffing company, said today that the US would need to recruit large numbers of healthcare professionals internationally in order to fulfil President Obamas $615 billion plan to overhaul the US healthcare system, which was approved by the Senate health committee last week.

Obamas plan to allow nearly all American citizens access to healthcare by requiring employers to offer insurance cover to their workers, heralds a vast extension of the system and will require significantly higher numbers of healthcare professionals. With an ageing workforce, it is estimated that 1.4 million additional new nurses will be needed in the US by 2014.

HCL International, which specialises in permanent placements, has a wide range of contracts in place to supply healthcare professionals to the US from the Middle East and Europe. The company is expected to place over 1000 clinical staff into North America in 2009, and anticipates more to come as demand rises.

A report published this month by the Presidents Council of Economic Advisers forecasts that healthcare is to remain a major source of growth in the US labour market, noting that: Health care practitioners and technicians, which include registered nurses, and other health professionals and technicians, are expected to be in increasing demand.

However, HCL warned that it could be difficult to place nurses in sufficient numbers to meet demand without a relaxation of the policy of 'retrogression' the amount of time that a healthcare professional has to wait before getting their Green Card and starting work. Currently, a wait of three years is typical.

Mick Whitley, Managing Director of HCL International, commented: Obamas plan to extend healthcare protection to millions of poorer families marks a significant transition in American healthcare policy. This expansion of the healthcare system requires people and over the past two years HCL has built up a pipeline of appropriately qualified healthcare professionals to meet this need.

At the same time, the shortfall on qualified healthcare staff in the US is reaching critical proportions and it is important that the issue of 'retrogression' be addressed to ensure the expanded demand for healthcare is matched by an expanded, appropriately trained and educated healthcare workforce. Without this there simply wont be a large enough pool of healthcare workers in the US.

HCL enjoys first mover advantage in this area, and our global network of operations and contacts are unrivalled. We are committed to working with our US affiliates to meet the rising demand for healthcare staff, and help increase access to healthcare for patients.


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