To Make Health Reform Work, Think Outside Box, says HCL
The US will have to significantly expand its healthcare workforce in order to meet rising demand in the wake of President Obamas health reforms, says one of the leading health and social care recruiters, HCL plc.
Writing as guest columnist in HealthNewsDigest.com, Kate Bleasdale, Executive Vice Chairman of HCL plc, pointed to existing shortfalls in the numbers of physicians and nurses needed to meet the needs of the American population now, which are predicted to become more acute over the next decade.
Bleasdale said that in addition to offering more training and education opportunities for would-be healthcare professionals, the US must take advantage of the pipeline of internationally trained medical professionals from other countries who are waiting to join the US workforce and help alleviate the situation. Under current Visa and immigration policies, the wait to enter the States can be as long as four years but Bleasdale argues that this process must be sped up in order to meet the needs of the estimated 32 million more people who will have access to healthcare under Obama's reforms.She explains: Internationally-trained nurses will not be taking any jobs away from US workers and in fact will be filling only a small percentage of the critical nursing shortage in this country. Of course it goes without saying that any international recruitment must be done ethically, from countries where no similar shortage exists, and with keen attention paid to qualifications, proficiency in medical - not just basic - English, as well as cultural and other acclimation.