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With a population growing more than twice as fast as the national average – and people living longer and experiencing more chronic illness – the demand for health care has never been greater. Unfortunately, Texas has too few physicians to meet the health care needs of its growing population.

The state has well-document shortages of primary care physicians and other specialists, including psychiatrists. More than 80 percent of Texas counties are designated as mental health professional shortage areas, and about 40 percent of Texas counties’ primary care health needs are not currently being met. Shortages of nurses and allied health professionals contribute to this problem.

A Workforce in Peril: Shortages Threaten Patient Care

Two years of COVID-19 pandemic care have strained hospital resources and capacity like never before. These extraordinary challenges have acutely impacted the people who provide care inside the walls of hospitals. Burnout and fatigue have plagued the frontlines, and many health care workers have left the field altogether. While health care workforce shortages existed long before COVID-19, staffing costs and other pandemic-related challenges have led to an unsustainable situation that threatens hospitals’ ability to care for patients. Read more.

The Texas Legislature has invested significant funds to increase the size of the health care workforce in Texas, but continued investment is required to combat the severe shortage of physicians, nurses and other health care professionals.

Growing the health care workforce, including the number of behavioral health professionals, in Texas is a top priority for the Texas Hospital Association.

Learn more about Graduate Medical Education.

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