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Experts: Pandemic could worsen Hawaii’s shortage of health care workers

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 2:42 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The nation’s latest jobs report says a half-million health care workers have left the profession.

Hawaii’s health care industry isn’t suffering a major departure of workers ― yet.

But Hawaii health care leaders say Hawaii was already short of health workers and many are on the verge of retiring.

They note the stress of dealing with COVID patients is causing some to reconsider the field.

“I am worried about it,” said Jill Hoggard Green, president and chief executive officer of The Queen’s Health Systems. “There’s also a lot of folks that are early in their careers that are contemplating should they do something differently because this has been so devastating.”

Economists say Hawaii’s health care and social assistance sector lost more than 3,000 jobs in the past year and a half.

Industry leaders also say the high cost of living, especially housing, also prevents many nurses and doctors trained on the mainland from moving back home.

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