Immigration Bill Has Healthcare Workforce Implications

A bipartisan Senate immigration bill could boost the nation’s healthcare workforce, in addition to expanding coverage to millions of newly legal residents. If passed, the law is expected to increase both visas and green card access for a broad range of healthcare workers. Specifically, it would make it easier for foreign physicians who come to the U.S. for their medical residencies to stay on after their training (if they’ll serve three years in medically underserved areas).

According to American Medical Association President Jeremy Lazarus, MD, “The AMA strongly supports the permanent reauthorization of the J-1 visa waiver program outlined in the Senate immigration bill that will allow International Medical Graduates to continue providing much needed healthcare to people in communities across the country. “IMGs play an integral part in American medicine, often joining physicians in practices serving patients in rural and low-income urban areas.”

Read more about the immigration bill and the two kinds of visas that foreign doctors can get: an H-1B visa for specialty workers or a J-1, which is an educational or cultural visa in Modern HealthCare (free subscription required) or Politico.

The Rural Voice ~ Advocating on behalf of the healthcare needs of rural Colorado, my blog posts feature rural health policy news.


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