State of Wisconsin
Tim Roby, Governor’s Office (608) 266-8110
GOVERNOR PUTS PLAN INTO ACTION TO SOLVE
HEALTH CARE WORKER SHORTAGE
MADISON – Saying the
growing shortage of workers is one of the most pressing problems plaguing
health care today in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott McCallum today put in motion a
plan to solve Wisconsin’s health care worker shortage.
"We are facing a
crisis in Wisconsin and the time to address this critical issue is
now," Gov. McCallum said. "We must do everything we can to
retain health care workers in Wisconsin and to recruit fresh new faces to
the industry, and I am committed to leading that charge."
The Governor’s Health
Care Worker Shortage Committee, a working group of more than 90 members
from the health care industry, labor, education and government, developed
the action plan. Gov. McCallum announced the formation of the committee in
April 2002 and named Department of Workforce Development Secretary
Jennifer Alexander and Dr. Richard Carpenter, president of the Wisconsin
Technical College System, as co-chairs.
The committee found
Wisconsin is suffering from a lack of trained, qualified people to fill
the jobs available in an industry expected to need 45,000 more workers by
2008. Without immediate action, the state’s health care worker shortage
will worsen over the next decade, in part because Wisconsin’s population
is aging, which will drive up the demand for health care services, and
because many older health-care workers will reach retirement age.
The report, which is
available at http://www.dwd.state.wi.us/ghcwsc
has the following major goals:
- Increase the retention
rates of Wisconsin’s current heath care workers.
- Redesign the health
care system and become proactive in prevention and wellness promotion
to improve both health care work and population outcomes.
- Establish a leadership
committee to advise the governor and helps coordinate health care
worker shortage solutions in the state of Wisconsin.
- Increase the number
and diversity of individuals choosing health care occupations and
expand educational capacity to meet the needs of the labor force.
Gov. McCallum said his
administration would continue to work with the Technical College System to
develop a package for legislative action next year. He also vowed to
implement a number of recommendations through his executive power.
which should be pursued immediately include:
Goal: Increase the
retention rates of Wisconsin’s current heath care workers.
- Aggressively seek to
increase reimbursement from all funding sources to allow employers to
provide competitive wages to employees. Gov. McCallum recently signed
a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson
requesting a review of the current Medicare reimbursement system.
- Create employment
conditions which expand learning opportunities for staff and maximize
direct patient care.
- Identify and document
health care employers with outstanding employee retention rates to use
as benchmarks for others in the industry.
Goal: Redesign the health
care system and become proactive in prevention and wellness promotion to
improve both health care work and population outcomes.
- Educate the general
public and patients on their responsibility for health maintenance,
incentive for wellness, avoiding injury, preventing and managing
disease and care options (Wisconsin Encourages Healthy Lifestyles
Goal: Establish a
leadership committee that serves as an umbrella group coordinating health
care worker shortage solutions in the state of Wisconsin.
- Appoint a leadership
committee which includes a representative group of public/private
health care stakeholders, education leaders, consumers and all levels
of health care workers and caregivers.
Goal: Increase the number
and diversity of individuals choosing health care occupations and expand
educational capacity to meet the needs of the labor force.
- Adopt state-to-state
reciprocity for health care fields.
- Provide incentives for
and expand articulation agreements within and between higher education
sectors so individuals in careers like nursing develop mutually agreed
upon competencies for each of the health care credentials.
--- 30 ---
News Release Index Page