Emphasizing that the current health crisis has revealed the health care system’s systematic inequalities, Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday has demanded for a health care force that “looks like America.”
The vice president unveiled the $1.5 billion investment by the Biden administration from the COVID-19 relief package to address the insufficiency of health care workers in underserved and high-risk areas, FOX News reported.
“Our nation must invest in a health care workforce that looks like America, and provide access to equitable health care for all Americans,” she said.
The National Health Service Corps, Nurse Corps, and the Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery programs will benefit from the said funding. The programs provide loan repayments and scholarships to health care workers and learners if they vow that their service will go to the underserved communities.
“Our administration’s goal here is to address the urgent shortage of doctors, nurses and behavioral health providers in both urban and rural areas,” Harris said.
The vice president also touched on the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force of the White House, saying that: “The president and I asked members of our task force to advise us not just on COVID-19 disparities, but on how we get at the root of all the disparities in the health care system that we face. And earlier this month, in their final report, the task force laid out clear priorities for our administration and for our nation.”
“COVID-19 did not invent health disparities. Just ask any health care professional, and she will tell you: Health disparities existed long before this virus reached our shores. Health disparities stem from broader systemic inequities,” she added. “What COVID-19 has done is expose these disparities, and it has exasperated these disparities.”