Proposed H-1B Visa Changes Place Uncertainty on Healthcare Sector

Visa StampThe U.S. healthcare sector faces challenges over its hospitalist recruitment efforts, as President Donald Trump floated a proposal to review the H-1B visa program. The proposed changes to non-immigrant visas affect those with medical residency permits that near their expiration.

In states such as Louisiana, healthcare employers account for almost 10% of jobs, which include hospitalist positions. Aside from third-party recruiters, such as Emergency Staffing Solutions, the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance does its part to fill hundreds of vacancies.

Collaborative Effort

The alliance recently formed a workforce venture with public and private groups that not only seek to find qualified candidates for local opportunities but also across the country.

The industry currently has openings for an estimated 16 million jobs in a variety of positions, according to Lisa Guerrero, the alliance’s task chairperson for the employment initiative.

These areas include patient and non-patient care roles. The initiative seeks to promote these opportunities to those looking for a lucrative job in healthcare or simply want to switch careers, according to Guerrero.

The process of employment, however, becomes complicated if hospitals decide to hire foreign individuals such as physicians.

Foreign Visas

In 2016, the federal government approved the employment of almost 10,500 doctors who hold H-1B visas and who were born overseas. The topic of hiring foreigners has been a hotly contested issue in the healthcare industry and the overall job market.

However, some practitioners like employees Fadel Nammour believe that hiring doctors from abroad is not unfair to local professionals. North Dakota-based Nammour, who was born in Lebanon, said that non-immigrant workers are simply filling jobs that do not interest Americans.

The healthcare industry should consider every possible solution to add more workers to meet increasing demand, especially in rural areas where medical facilities are greatly in need of qualified staff.