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Health Reform Must Include Health Workforce, AAHC President Tells Congress
Date:3/12/2009

Health system reform will not succeed without coordinated national health workforce planning

WASHINGTON, March 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Health system reform cannot be successful without simultaneously changing how the nation develops and implements health workforce policy, Dr. Steven A. Wartman, president and CEO of the Association of Academic Health Centers (AAHC), told the Senate Finance Committee today at a hearing on Workforce Issues in Health Care Reform: Assessing the Present and Preparing for the Future. Wartman urged policymakers to "incorporate a new, integrated, and coordinated approach to national workforce policy as health system reform is considered."

Wartman presented the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of AAHC's groundbreaking report, Out of Order, Out of Time: The State of the Nation's Health Workforce, noting the critical relationship of workforce issues to any reform proposals. Wartman called attention to many aspects of current health workforce policy that are "out of order," including inadequate access to primary care and shortages in many health professions, and detailed why the nation is running "out of time" to change course.

Wartman argued that current problems are an outgrowth of a systemic flaw in our nation's century-old approach to health workforce policymaking that leaves responsibility for planning and managing the nation's health workforce fragme
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SOURCE Association of Academic Health Centers
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