Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association

Three Steps to Help Solve the Healthcare Crisis in Mass.

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This op-ed was featured in the Boston Business Journal on June 23, 2023.

By Christine Schuster, President & CEO, Emerson Health
Steve Walsh, President & CEO, Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association

Hospitals across the nation are under intensifying stress from a well-documented workforce crisis. Covid-19 left many healthcare professionals exhausted, causing some to retire and others to leave the field. Healthcare organizations are taking extraordinary measures —and incurring extraordinary cost — to recruit and retain staff. This workforce crisis affects all sectors of the economy but is particularly pronounced in healthcare. Even more worrisome, most economic experts do not see the crisis abating.

There are an estimated 19,000 full-time hospital job vacancies in Massachusetts alone. As workers leave the hospital setting, there simply aren’t enough talented professionals to take their place. The effects of this can be seen in longer wait times and care access challenges. When it takes longer or is harder to get seen by a clinician, the medical outcomes are worse.