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Advocates say immigrants could help Florida ease health care worker shortage

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Advocates say immigrants could help Florida ease health care worker shortage

| 2/21/2023

Advocates say immigrants could help Florida ease health care worker shortage

The demand for health workers in Florida rose by 80% between 2017 and 2021, according to the report. The need for nurses and bilingual staff rose even higher. One way to help address the need is to remove some of the barriers that make it hard for immigrant medical workers to get jobs in their field, said Mo Kantner, the council’s director of state and local initiatives. Getting recertified to practice in the U.S. can be challenging and costly for international medical professionals. It often involves taking exams, submitting extensive documentation about training and having a certain amount of clinical experience. [Source: WUSF]

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Economic backbone: Cardiac care progress report

When Adam de Jong went to college, he initially thought he might choose a career in sports medicine. It took a class in human anatomy to change his mind. “What continually interested me the most was learning about the cardiovascular system and the impact it has on the body and health,” he says. Now 51, and after 20 years of working in cardiology management, de Jong started work last September as Lee Health’s vice president of cardiovascular services. [Source: Florida Trend]

DeSantis’ surgeon general and health department draw fire for amplifying vaccine doubts

Florida’s top public health official and the department he oversees issued a “health alert” this week amplifying doubts about the safety of COVID-vaccines. The move drew fire, including from peers at the state university that picks up part of the tab for his salary. A tweet by Surgeon General Joseph A. Ladapo and a similar one from the health department’s official account questioned the safety and effectiveness of COVID vaccines, a position that puts him at odds with the scientific consensus. [Source: Miami Herald]

Parents raise concerns as Florida bans gender-affirming care for minors

Florida is one of a growing number of states to prohibit gender-affirming care for transgender minors. It is the only state to do so not through legislative action, but through a vote of its medical boards. With the encouragement of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the state's Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine both passed rules that will ban gender-affirming care such as puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, as well as surgical procedures, for new patients under age 18. [Source: NPR]

Health care workers' vaccine mandate remains as some push for an end

One year after it began being enforced nationwide on Feb. 20, 2022, the vaccination requirement affecting an estimated 10 million health care workers is the last remaining major mandate from President Joe Biden's sweeping attempt to boost national vaccination rates. Similar requirements for large employers, military members and federal contractors all have been struck down, repealed or partially blocked. [Source: Health News Florida]


› Collier commissioners ban medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated areas
The Collier County Board of Commissioners has voted to enact an ordinance that would ban the establishment or location of medical marijuana treatment center dispensing facilities in unincorporated parts of the county. The measure passed unanimously at a board meeting on February 14. Right now Collier residents can only get medical marijuana by going to a dispensary on Marco Island, going to another county, or by getting the medical marijuana delivered.

› Florida Senate advances fentanyl bills that would increase penalties, OK test strips
Two Florida senators moved forward bills on Tuesday aimed at addressing deadly fentanyl overdoses from two different angles. Sen. Jason Brodeur, R-Lake Mary, got a first committee approval on his bill that would alter the standard for pursuing first-degree murder charges against people involved in the distribution of certain drugs that cause a fatal overdose. The Senate Criminal Justice Committee also gave its approval to a bill from Democratic Sen. Tina Polsky of Boca Raton that would decriminalize fentanyl testing strips.

› Doctors at Florida HCA Healthcare hospital allege facility is 'dangerous'
More than a dozen surgeons convened a meeting at their hospital, HCA Florida Bayonet Point in Hudson, Florida. Their concerns about patient safety at the 290-bed acute care facility owned by HCA Healthcare Inc. had been intensifying for months and the doctors had requested the meeting to push management to address their complaints.

› Florida pauses enrollment at 7 nursing schools amid degree scheme
Florida's Commission for Independent Education has ordered seven nursing schools allegedly tied to the fraudulent degree scandal to pause graduation and enrollment activities through March, the state confirmed to Becker's Feb. 15. The commission held an emergency meeting Feb. 10 to consider action against the institutions, all of which are presently or have been connected to at least one individual charged for their alleged participation in the sale of phony nursing degrees and transcripts.

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