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Our healthcare system is breaking – part 2

Earlier this week I wrote the first in what is likely to be a wholly dispiriting series of posts documenting the decline of our healthcare system.

Make no mistake, in many areas it is coming apart at the seams. While the causes are many, there’s no question COVID has both sped up and steepened the fall.

Healthcare job vacancies are twice the historical high, with one out of every ten jobs unfilled. We are missing about 1.9 million nurses, doctors, technicians, administrators, lab techs, therapists, nutritionists, counselors, case managers, social service workers, aides, and support staff.

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics… note the graph includes both social workers (about 200k openings) and healthcare about 1.7 million.)

At the end October,

  • more than half of the healthcare job openings were for RNs
  • 15% were for LPNs
  • 7^ for nursing assistants
  • 17% for therapists.

Many of the healthcare workers that have been able to hang in there are exhausted, scared, emotionally scarred and beyond frustration.

Statistics don’t mean anything? OK, here’s what this feels like…

What does this mean for you?

You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. 

Reminder to Trolls and Cowards

I highly value disagreement but only if it is courteous, fact-based and the other side isn’t hiding behind anonymity.

A reminder to all commenters; with rare exceptions – as in when I know who you are – anonymous comments are banned. You know who I am, it is only fair that I, and your fellow readers, know who you are. Indeed there are sometimes good reasons for anonymous comments, but never when you attack, insult, denigrate, and rant. So, Cowards are not welcome here.

Similarly, I’m done debating Trolls who engage in fact-free rants and/or cite completely not-credible “sources” (no, InfoWars is NOT a credible source). If you want to debate, avoid these common pitfalls.

Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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