The groundbreaking changes have occurred in the Californian healthcare system. With the newly elected governor, the wealthiest state in the USA is about to set an example of how the affordable healthcare for just everyone can be established and successfully managed.
Some might ask: why it hadn’t started earlier than today? It is a bit complicated, as in order to launch and to successfully maintain expanded coverage and enhanced healthcare systems, the local government needs right specialists who would be motivated enough to upkeep given tasks.
With the initiatives on the part of the California Future Health Workforce Commission we can rest assured that Californian government has found such people and the path ahead is clear.
The residents of California are already living with the consequences of shortages in the regular health workforce. In a new poll conducted by the California Health Care Foundation and the Kaiser Family Foundation, we see that one out of three residents of California doesn’t have primary care providers in their community to meet existing healthcare needs. More than fifty percent of Californians claim they don’t have sufficient mental health providers in their respective city within the state. The heaviest toll is, unsurprisingly, low-income, Latino, black residents.
These working force shortages mean that too many Californians must visit emergency healthcare because the local community has too few primary care services. The shortage of mental health specialists entails that people who are suffering from mental disorders are simply left to their own devices. We all now what that can entail, given that many of them end up being homeless in the streets of California. Among the Hispanic population, there is a demand on the specialists who would speak fluent Spanish, as the California population is a multi-national community.
The encouraging news is that the California Future Health Workforce Commission has invested an unprecedented amount of effort in finding the solution to the above-mentioned healthcare services problem. The Commission weeded out the less significant problems, leaving only 10 out of 27 problems posed to be adopted in the nearest future.
The problems and ensuing solutions include the following:
- Increased amount of scholarships for students who seek priority health professions while committing to work in underserved local communities;
- Establishing residency programs to train primary care medical specialists and mental health professionals;
- Expanded training for those seeking the position of a nurse in primary care and behavioral health care fields;
- Increased couching for younger representatives from under-served local communities to encourage them seeking community college education and moving into healthcare careers;
- Development of a secure prevention workforce with frontline participants, including local community healthcare workforce, promoters, and peer providers.
The cost of ten major priority recommendations would require from the state of California $3 billion over 10 years. While the costs seem to be high, they are only 1% of what Californians are about to spend on health care in the year 2019. For that relatively modest investment, the government of California would solve its primary care provider shortage, while it can solve the issue with the shortage of mental care professionals, at the same time expanding the fresh stream of younger people from underserved communities who would be seeking careers in the health-related professions. The 10 mentioned recommendations would yield 47,000 new health professionals, while engaging 30,000 from underrepresented local communities.
Other than those 10 goals, the the California Future Health Workforce Commission made important recommendations to attack pressing health workforce issues. These recommendations were a mix of proven models and newly emerged initiatives. All of these would require serious investments on the part of the several organizations responsible for healthcare in the state of California. Many of the proposals would overhaul the state’s health workforce to ensure prevention, enhance behavioral healthcare, and establish social strata-dependent determinants of healthcare. The recommendations would also provide younger people with greater access to future perspective while helping local communities who are struggling in poverty.
California Future Health Workforce Commission’s co-chairs — University of California President Janet Napolitano and Dignity Health CEO Lloyd Dean stated that the initiative was “the end of the beginning.” Now the work is to be done by congressmen and women, healthcare employers, educational institutions, philanthropists, and community organizations to promote together realization of the groundbreaking initiatives and in giving the new start to the healthcare system in the state.