We are thankful for our medical professionals under normal circumstances, but their contributions are especially appreciated today on World Health Day, as global COVID-19 cases approach 1.5 million. Over 27% of cases are in the United States and over 12,000 patients have died in the U.S., including doctors and nurses tasked with treating the illness.
The United States benefits from immigrant healthcare workers: according to a study by the Migration Policy Institute, one in five in the industry are foreign-born. The 2018 American Community Survey showed that many front-line worker categories are more highly represented by immigrant employees: 29 percent of physicians and 37 percent of home health aides are foreign-born. The Migration Policy Institute reports that 23 percent of retail-store pharmacists were born outside the United States.
Predicted Healthcare Shortages
The New American Economy cites the projected healthcare shortages as evidence that the United States needs to support policies to encourage immigrant workers to fill these critical fields. The New American Economy states:
- In 2018, there were more than 27 open healthcare practitioner jobs for every available unemployed health care practitioner. Overall, there were almost 13 open healthcare job openings for every available unemployed healthcare worker.
- Rural areas were already experiencing doctor shortages before the crisis. As early as 2015, there were 135 counties in 27 states with no doctors in the United States. Doctors in rural counties were also far likelier to be older and closer to retirement, meaning the number of counties with no doctors in the future may rise significantly.
- More than 60 percent of all counties in the United States—including 80 percent of all rural counties—do not have a single psychiatrist.
Read more about the aging workforce and immigrants’ support of the economy on the New American Economy’s data visualization tool: Immigration and America’s Growth.
Please join us in thanking and recognizing the work of our dedicated medical professionals.
Visit Challa Law Group’s COVID-19 Resource Page for Employers & Foreign Workers to read about other critical immigration updates or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.