Advocacy

Safety from Violence for Healthcare Employees (SAVE) Act

Violence against healthcare workers has dramatically increased since the COVID-19 pandemic. Forty-four percent of registered nurses reporting they have experienced physical violence and 68% reporting they have experienced verbal abuse during the pandemic, and more than 80% of emergency physicians reporting they believe the rate of violence in emergency departments has increased.

Protections for hospital workers are long overdue.

Thankfully, Congress has introduced the bipartisan Safety from Violence for Healthcare Employees (SAVE) Act (H.R. 2584/S. 2768), which aims to protect hospitals employees from violence and intimidation in their workplace.

If Passed, The Legislation Would:

Subject anyone who knowingly assaults a hospital employee or contractor and interferes with the performance of their duties to fines and up to 10 years imprisonment (or a maximum of 20 years should the attacker use a deadly or dangerous weapon, inflict serious bodily injury, or commit an attack during a public health emergency), and 

Boost the capacity of hospitals to enhance security systems and procedures and more effectively coordinate with law enforcement by establishing a grant program.

No healthcare worker should worry for their life while trying to save the lives of others. The SAVE Act is an important and necessary step to ensure they can carry out their duties without the fear of assault or attack.

The Healthcare Workforce Coalition is proud to support this legislation and looks forward to working together with lawmakers and stakeholders to get it signed into law. 

Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act

The United States is facing a healthcare workforce crisis, only worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Data show that the U.S. could see a shortage between 37,800 and 124,000 primary and specialty care physicians by 2034. This number is concerning as over 102 million Americans already live in a designated primary care Health Professional Shortage Area. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects more than 275,000 additional nurses are needed by 2030, yet, about 31% of registered nurses indicate they may leave their current direct patient care positions in the next year.

International nurses and doctors have played a vital role filling in some of the gaps in our workforce. Now lawmakers have come together to introduce bipartisan legislation that would help thousands more qualified immigrant providers stuck in the green card backlog obtain permanent visas. 

The Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act Would:

Recapture 25,000 unused immigrant visas for nurses and 15,000 unused immigrant visas for physicians that Congress has previously authorized, as well as recaptured visas for immediate family members,

Require employers to attest that international workers from overseas who receive these visas will not displace an American worker, and 

Require eligible international medical professionals to meet licensing requirements, pay filing fees, and clear rigorous national security and criminal background checks before they can receive recaptured green cards. 

By creating immigration pathways for qualified foreign healthcare professionals to live and work in the United States permanently, we can begin to address the significant shortages plaguing our nation’s healthcare system.

The Healthcare Workforce Coalition is proud to support this legislation and looks forward to working together with lawmakers and stakeholders to get it signed into law.