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Immigration Attorney

Ranchod Law Group Immigration Attorney discusses Immigration Laws and the Health Care Shortage

It could be that U.S. immigration law regarding foreign medical workers may become the next big health care issue in the country. With a continuing shortage of healthcare workers the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects with regards to the number of openings in health care occupations through to 2016, there will be a strong need for immigrant health care workers, including registered nurses, medical assistants, and health home workers. And that translates into a growing need for those specializing in immigration law who know the system thoroughly and can navigate it efficiently. Also, U.S. immigration law will need to become more flexible.

The BLS believes that there will be the need for 648,000 personnel in nursing, psychiatric and home health care, 587,000 in registered nursing and 287,000 medical assistants and in other related health care support areas.

In connection with these projections, are even more indications from other U.S. agencies and organizations that support the idea that immigrants will be needed to fill the growing need for health care professionals. An Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) report observed in November 2008, that the demand for physicians would greatly increase through 2025 and that by that year there would be a shortage of between 124,000 and 159,000 doctors.  Additionally, the AAMC report noted that training more American physicians would not satisfy the need. Even a 30% increase in U.S. medical school enrollments will not totally bridge the gap.

Also, a study in the July/August 2009 issue of Health Affairs notes that by approximately 2018 there will be a shortage in Registered Nurses that will grow to 260,000 by 2025. This shortfall is attributed to fewer Americans going into the nursing profession and a large number of Baby Boomers reaching retirement age.

Finally, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) estimates that as of November 15, 2009, the United States saw 6,216 Primary Medical Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) that would require 16,680 physicians to meet the primary-care medical needs of the people living in those regions.

A major contributing factor to this dilemma is the growing aging population in the U.S. and the fact that so many of the elderly are living longer and requiring more health care. For those health care workers wishing to immigrate to the U.S., the next decade could offer huge opportunities. They will require legal professionals who are proficient in immigration law and a speedier immigration law process that will allow for the needed influx of health care providers.