Study: California To Face Critical Shortage of Allied Health Care Workers by 2020

In a California Healthline Special Report, Abdi Soltani, executive director of the Campaign for College Opportunity; Jose Millan, vice chancellor for economic development and workforce preparation for the state community college system; and Marilyn Chow, vice president of Kaiser Permanente’s patient care services, discussed an expected shortage of allied health care workers in coming years.

A recent study by the Campaign for College Opportunity found that the number of graduates for three-quarters of allied health occupations — including radiologists, phlebotomists and laboratory technicians — is on the decline.

Soltani said the shortage is driven by a lack of spots in community college and university programs to train new allied health workers and a high drop-out rate for students enrolled in the programs.

“[I]t’s a matter of increasing the capacity of the educational systems, but also the throughput of getting more students through the programs and into the occupations,” Soltani said.

Millan said the state is working with Kaiser Permanente and other providers on loan forgiveness and stipend programs to make it easier for students to pay for their education or support themselves while they are in school (Kennedy, California Healthline, 11/21).

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