Senator’s bill helps address shortage of doctors and nurses in Arizona and across U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema cosponsored the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act—bipartisan legislation introduced by Democratic Senator Dick Durbin (Ill.) and Republican Senator John Cornyn (Texas) that allows unused visas from prior years to be used by doctors and nurses who can help combat the COVID-19 pandemic and meet the ongoing health care staffing challenges in Arizona and across the country.
“Equipping Arizona with more trained health care professionals helps keep Arizona families safe and healthy, keeps our hospitals open, and allows us to better combat the coronavirus pandemic,” said Sinema.
The bipartisan Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act would be critically helpful in increasing numbers of medical professionals trained to treat sick Arizonans during the pandemic—especially in Arizona’s rural communities that have a hard time attracting doctors and nurses, and are also facing retirements given their older medical workforce and burnout from the pandemic.
The Sinema-backed bipartisan, bicameral legislation would recapture up to 40,000 previously unused visas and make them temporarily available to nurses and doctors – 25,000 of those visas would be reserved for nurses and 15,000 for doctors. The unused visas are from the accumulation of annually allocated and capped immigrant visas that were authorized under immigration law, but were not used in the year they were allocated. The bipartisan legislation would not increase current immigration numbers and will not displace American workers.