The Health Resources and Services Administration said the United States needs significantly more health care workers in areas experiencing a shortage throughout the country, according to a report released Tuesday.
CNN said by using data collected at the state and local level, the HRSA calculated that the U.S needs more than “17,000 additional primary care practitioners, 12,000 dental health practitioners and 8,200 mental health practitioners.”
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders told CNN, “We have nowhere near the kind of workforce, health care workforce, that we need,” adding that “We don’t have enough doctors. We don’t have enough nurses. We don’t have enough psychologists or counselors for addiction. We don’t have enough pharmacists.”
The report identifies the states with the highest number of shortages, which includes California, Texas and Alaska. States with the lowest number of shortages include Delaware, New Hampshire and Vermont, per the report.
Sanders told CNN the Senate Health, Education, and Labor Committee is trying to increase the number of Black health care workers to further relieve the economic burden of health disparities in racial and ethnic minority communities.
Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, president of the Morehouse School of Medicine, told CNN that “having a health care workforce that reflects the communities served helps reduce the health inequities seen in the United States.”
The Deseret News previously reported on the shortage of nurses and said many are quitting due to burnout and dissatisfaction, which was made worse by the pandemic.
“If nurses keep quitting at high rates it could lead to patient care, ‘errors, higher morbidity and mortality rates,’ according to a study on nursing shortages by StatPearls,” the Deseret News said.
Solutions for the shortage
Forbes said one factor that could help is giving doctors and nurses the ability to make better data-driven decisions so they can give more effective care.
This may help alleviate additional medical conditions that arise when proper care isn’t given, according to the article.