December 11, 2009
Washington D.C. – As the public debate over healthcare reform continues to rage, mention is seldom made of the vital role that immigrants play in the healthcare workforce of the United States. If immigrants are mentioned at all, it is usually in the context of heated discussions about whether or not unauthorized immigrants will, or should, be included in any of the healthcare bills now circulating in Congress. Lost in this debate is the simple demographic fact that immigrants are a critical component of the healthcare workforce at both the high-skilled and less-skilled ends of the occupational spectrum. Most notably, immigrants comprise more than one-quarter of all Physicians and Surgeons in the United States, and roughly one-fifth of all Nursing, Psychiatric, and Home Health Aides.
Today, the Immigration Policy Center releases Critical Care: The Role of Immigrant Workers in U.S. Healthcare. The research finds:
- Immigrants are a critical component of the workforce at all skill levels in the nation’s largest healthcare occupations.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts significant numbers of job openings in the healthcare occupations where most foreign-born healthcare workers are employed.
- Shortages of healthcare workers are expected to increase in the years to come, and immigrants will help fill the gap.
To read the report in its entirety see:
- Critical Care: The Role of Immigrants Workers in Healthcare (IPC Fact Check, December 11, 2009).