U.S. Senate Discusses Health Care Workforce Shortages

  • by AGD Washington Advocacy Representative
  • Mar 22, 2023
On February 21, 2023, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) held a hearing entitled, Examining Health Care Workforce Shortages: Where Do We Go from Here? The hearing examined the current and anticipated workforce shortages among health care personnel and addressed potential ways to mitigate the shortages. This was a bipartisan hearing, with Members on both sides of the aisle focusing their comments on questions to better understand how to increase educational opportunities and supports for health care professionals, how to improve access to care in rural and underserved areas, how to improve diversity in the workforce to advance health care equity, and how to alleviate provider burnout. Read a full summary here.

Impact on General Dentistry:  Committee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-VT) expressed concern that the U.S. will have a shortage of more than 100,000 dentists over the next few years.  AGD strongly believes that the data is clear that there will not be a shortage of dentists in the near future, but shortages of dental auxiliaries are real and worsening. Additionally, in response to a question from Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) about how to best leverage immigrant workers in health care, Dr. Herbert touted a program at the University of New England that accelerates the process for foreign trained dentists to become eligible for U.S. licensure. Further, in response to a question from Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) about the importance of loan repayment programs, Dr. Herbert highlighted the University of New England’s partnership with Northeast Delta Dental that offers loan repayment programs for dentists who work in underserved areas.