Friday, March 20, 2020
Unnecessary barriers to work in the medical field at this time will do more harm than good.
If people are available who have the needed skillsets to assist with healthcare surrounding this pandemic, the government should not disallow them from helping.
Occupational licensing can serve to protect health and safety, but too often, it creates excessive barriers to work. In times like this, licensing can even prove to do more harm than good.
Fortunately, Governor Reynolds recognized the potential harm and loosened some licensing restrictions in the medical field. In her Proclamation of Disaster Emergency, the Governor:
- Allows for temporary medical licenses to be granted to assist with COVID-19 response for individuals who held a license within the last five years but are not current
- Reduces the number of hours of experience needed for medical students for a license if their supervising institution of higher learning deems that their skillset is sufficient to practice
At a time when additional burden is placed on the medical field, waivers like these are critical to ensuring that staffing levels are able to be maintained. Other temporary reforms that other states have utilized include:
- Interstate reciprocity for healthcare licenses
- Streamlined universal recognition that allows individuals licensed in another state in the medical field to become licensed within one day
These solutions will not solve this crisis alone, but cutting as much bureaucratic red tape as possible can help with the response to COVID-19.
If people are available who have the needed skillsets to assist with healthcare surrounding this pandemic, the government should not disallow them from helping. Unnecessary barriers to work in the medical field at this time will do more harm than good.
ITR applauds the steps that Governor Reynolds has already taken and hopes that more action may be taken in Iowa to help respond to this health crisis.