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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

Report Calls for Health Care Immigration Reform

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The National Foundation for American Policy has just released a report discussing the need for international health care professionals and also discusses the various obstacles these workers face. Here are their four key recommendations:


This report makes four broad policy recommendations:




1) Expand the number of employment-based green cards so the wait times for skilled immigrants, including nurses, physicians, and physical/occupational therapists, can be measured in weeks or months, rather than in years or decades.



2) Establish a temporary visa that facilitates the entry of foreign nurses. Current temporary visas do not work for the vast majority of foreign nurses and their potential employers.


3) To aid patients in underserved areas and enable more U.S.-trained doctors to pursue specialized medical fields expand the Conrad 30 program to include many more physicians per state and in the country as a whole. Also, we should consider policies to overcome the limitations on medical residency slots in the U.S. by developing guidelines to allow foreign-trained doctors to practice in the United States if they can demonstrate a high level of expertise. Congress logically should include physicians and medical researchers in biology and chemistry in the definition of Science Technology Engineering and
Mathematics (STEM) for exemption from employment-based green card quotas in future legislation.


4) Streamline state licensing and other procedures for foreign medical personnel, including physical therapists and occupational therapists, to help with the nation's long-term health needs.



Good ideas and some are being discussed in Congress right now.

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Comments

  1. George Chell's Avatar
    The nursing market will go to hell in a hand basket without the foreign spouses of US citizens. Many, especially from Asia are nurses. People keep saying pay the nurses more or double their salaries. But, then who is going to pay for increased health care costs? The insurance definitely will not pay. Simiarly, FAIR, CIS and Numbers USA say we need to pay the doctors more, double their salaries to work in rural areas. But, who is going to pay for it? The seniors, at a time when Medicare is on the table to avoid fiscal cliff? Keep thinking that! Irritates the heck out of me if the bigots at FAIR and CIS say that...irritates me even more when academic clowns like George Borjas and even worse Business School professor pedal that as a solution!
  2. ABC's Avatar
    I do not disagree with the all the numbers that have been published all these years showing acute shortage for health care providers. BUT NOTHING has been done. It was only under the Bush administration that the 50 K Schedule A visa were released. The shortage hasn't gone away but the visas did. I have personally known many PT's who have returned to their home countries or have moved to Canada as they were tired of the decade long wait. Not to sound pessimistic, but I do not see any relaxations of healthcare immigration laws as they would have done that a long time ago if they really understood or even cared about the consequences of under staffing in the healthcare industry.
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