LTC Immigration Policy
LTC immigration policy is crucial for the entire health care sector.
The long term and post acute sectors have traditionally had staffing shortages. Semi skilled foreign workers have been used to fill empty slots, for certified nursing assistants, registered nurses.
The healthcare industry must be careful not to over react to the recent temporary executive order blocking refugees from seven countries from entering the United States. The order is temporary and it will not have a long term effect on the staffing of facilities. Currently these countries do not supply the majority of immigrant works for healthcare.
Political beliefs aside the industry must establish a policy that will be consistent with national security, while still generating sufficient new qualified people to work in long term care. Clarification of the ban is needed so that those in the Middle East including those who come from the seven banned countries who have skills that are needed and who have passed vetting can enter the country.
Groups like the American Geriatric Society decrying the ban and claiming it singles out or targets health care professionals and other health care workers based on race, color, religion, gender are using scare tactics and are being untruthful. No one in the Trump administration is suggesting a permanent ban and nothing in the existing ban suggests it is based on anything other than security concerns.
The industry now has former provides of health care in key positions in the cabinet and instead of feeding into fear mongering and hysterics the policy makers should concentrate on developing programs in conjunction with the feds that will permit skilled and semi-skilled immigrants to enter the country legally and receive immediate employment. Green cards can be issued in an expedited fashion for those entering the country with jobs waiting for them. This targeted policy would help rural health care providers who are generally left out in the cold.
Make sure any “fight” the industry picks with this new administration is based on facts and not on hysteria and misinformation. Partnering with the feds on immigration is the most productive use of the industries time.