State calls on students, retired professionals to help fight virus pandemic

Coronavirus

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Anticipating a surge in coronavirus cases across California, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced an initiative recruiting more health professionals to combat the pandemic.

The new program, announced in a news conference Monday, is aimed at padding the state’s health care workforce by getting inactive professionals and burgeoning medical students to step out of their “comfort zone” and take on new, paid work, either caring for coronavirus patients or “filling the gaps” for non-virus patients having trouble getting treatment.

Health workers can check their eligibility and sign up on the state’s website, healthcorps.ca.gov.

Newsom said the state hopes to recruit “thousands” of professionals, pulling from a pool of students, retired health care workers and those who currently work part-time or in niche practices. The governor’s office has identified an estimated 37,000 people who could fit that billing.

Volunteers will be paid and will be given malpractice insurance coverage.

“Locations will vary, but we will try to match your geographical preferences,” the website explains. “You have the opportunity to play a critical role in responding to this public health emergency in your region. To care for Californians who need your help, please sign up.”

A number of licensing conditions for people trying to re-enter the workforce will be waived to help speed up the process, officials said. “Scope of practice” flexibility will allow some health workers to expand their usual set of responsibilities, as well. These looser restrictions would remain in place until a set date, set temporarily for June 30, Newsom said.

You can view full eligibility requirements and apply by clicking this link.

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