Study: Health Care Suffers from Shortage of Skilled Workers

The health care sector is suffering from a shortage of skilled workers that is expected to get worse between now and 2020, according to a study released Monday. The study was paid for by Kaiser Permanente, based in Oakland, and the California Wellness Foundation, and sponsored by the Campaign for College Opportunity.

The rapid growth in the over 65 population in California, which is expected to increase 75 percent from 2000 to 2020, will increase the demand for health care services even as baby boomers in the health care sector begin to retire, the study found.

Shortages already exist in “allied health” positions, which include technical occupations such as EMTs, radiology technologists and respiratory therapists.

The campaign argues that California’s universities and community colleges are not producing enough graduates in such fields to fill the demand and the industry as a whole is not doing an adequate job of informing high school and college students about opportunities within the sector.

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