Workforce

About Workforce

The shortage of health care professionals in California is deepening every year and affects every aspect of care. Statewide, more than 11 million people live in an area without enough primary care providers, and according to a UC San Francisco study of the state’s nursing shortage, it will take until 2026 to close the state’s current nursing gap. All told, California needs to add 500,000 new allied health care professionals by 2024 in order to provide needed care. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated health care staffing shortages. Many front-line health care workers have reached their breaking point and are choosing to leave the profession altogether (hundreds of thousands of health care jobs have been lost since the pandemic began).

Rural and low-income communities are disproportionately affected by the scarcity — and there’s a second disparate impact we must address as the state works to rebuild a depleted workforce: According to the California Future Health Workforce Commission, people of color will be a majority of Californians by 2030 but are severely underrepresented in the health care workforce.

Each year hospitals invest millions of dollars in training California’s next generation of health care providers, but closing the massive gaps ahead will require additional long- and short-term solutions:

  • Partnerships among all who recognize the need to protect the health of Californians: employers, workers, policymakers, colleges, licensing entities, and others
  • Public investments in workforce training through college and university programs to both retain current workers and build a pipeline of future professionals
  • Regulatory changes to improve efficiency and transparency in licensing, address limitations on scope of practice, and enhance education and training for nurses and nurse assistants

CDPH Laboratory Field Services Changes License Delivery System

As of June 18, the California Department of Public Health’s Laboratory Field Services (LFS) is using a new method to deliver licenses and certificates for laboratory personnel, allowing them to download and print active licenses directly from the online system. LFS will no longer mail licenses, and licensees will no longer need to request or pay for a duplicate license.

CHA Campaign Advances Solutions for California’s Health Care Workforce Shortages

In an effort to reinforce to lawmakers the need to address California’s severe health care workforce shortages, CHA just completed a month-long social media campaign to position hospitals’ leadership role in developing the current and future health workforce. Developed as a catalyst for more funding and enactment of key policy recommendations ahead of the state budget deadline in June, the campaign included an opinion editorial issued jointly with the California Primary Care Association, a video produced in collaboration with Sharp HealthCare, and an issue brief developed specifically for state legislators.

CHA Supports Resident Physician Shortage Act of 2019

CHA sent a letter to the California congressional delegation this week, urging support of the Resident Physician Shortage Act of 2019 (H.R. 1763), which takes steps to reduce nationwide physician shortages by increasing the number of Medicare-supported residency positions.

CHA Supports Commission’s Recommendations to Grow, Diversify California’s Health Care Workforce

Expanding education and training, increasing diversity, and boosting capacity are crucial steps for ensuring California’s health care workforce can meet patient needs into the future, especially in underserved communities, according to a newly released report from the California Future Health Workforce Commission. CHA supports the commission’s 30 recommendations and the path it outlines to develop a workforce prepared to meet critical future needs.