Sunday, February 13, 2011

California Hospitals: Aging Workforce Leading to Shortage of Healthcare Workers

The California Hospital Association (CHA) has released a report showing that, over the next five years, California hospitals could face a shortage of allied health care workers because of an aging medical work force and other factors. According to "Critical Roles: California's Allied Health Workforce," which summarizes the findings from the CHA Allied Health workforce Survey, the Survey "included two items asking about the average age of employees and the number expected to be eligible for retirement (using 62 as the age for eligibility) in the next one, three and five years for each of the selected allied health occupations."
The data show that the average age in these occupations ranged from 36.9 years for pharmacy technician in urban hospitals to 50.5 years for CLS in rural hospitals. For almost all occupations there is a difference in the average age based on the geographic location of the facility: the rural workforce is almost uniformly older by comparison. For some occupations, the difference is marked, including pharmacist and pharmacy technician, and to a slightly lesser extent CT technologist and MRI technologist
In addition, CHA finds that more than 2,600 allied health employees in the selected categories are expected to be eligible for retirement
within the next five years; this translates to roughly 12.5% of the total number of FTes reported by survey respondents.

Sources: California Hospital Association News Release (Feburary 10, 2011); California HealthLine "Report: Calif. Hospitals To Face Shortage of Allied Health Workers" (February 10, 2011)

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