National Task Force Addresses Barriers to Foreign-Born Healthcare Professionals

In May, as part of Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick’s commitment to better integrate immigrants into the state, three Massachusetts government agencies conferred with over a dozen other Massachusetts healthcare professions stakeholders to discuss the professional barriers immigrant and refugee healthcare professionals face. According to Kathleen Betts, of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services, “We know that 40% of immigrants in Massachusetts have a bachelor’s degree or higher. And we know that the need for health care professionals in Massachusetts are expected to grow by over 20% by 2020. But we also know that foreign-trained nurses, to take one example, are currently seven times more likely to work in low-paying, low-skilled professions than their U.S.-trained counterparts. We can and should address that disparity.”

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