Texas’ Health Care Workforce Crisis|
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I’m Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”
Texas Health Institute, a non-partisan think-tank, recently issued a report identifying four health care challenges Texans face. The challenges are the number of uninsured people; rates of obesity and diabetes; lack of mental health services; and shortages of health care professionals. I’d like to take a moment to talk about the shortage of health care professionals.
According to Texas Health Institute, three out of four counties in Texas lack an adequate number of physicians to care for the population. Other health care professionals are also in short supply.
2006 data for the North Texas region showed a vacancy rate of 8.6 percent for registered nurse positions. Trained nurses are one of the keys to quality care. Unfortunately, communities across the state face a shortage of nurses, and many nursing programs turn away students because there aren’t enough faculty to teach them.
What can be done to meet these challenges?
Here’s an example of one small but important step – Texas Health Resources pays the salaries of four nursing instructors who teach in the University of Texas at Arlington School of Nursing.
But hospitals cannot tackle this problem alone. That’s why Texas Health Resources recently convened a group of local business and community leaders to work together towards health care reform. For information about how to join this important discussion, visit TexasHealth.org and click on North Texas Health Care Forum.
For our faith-based hospitals – Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Arlington Memorial – I’m Doug Hawthorne.