Grassroot urges lawmakers to join more medical licensure compacts
from Grassroot Institute, November, 2023
Jonathan Helton writes in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that joining the interstate compact for doctors was a good start
"Hawaii lawmakers took a major step this year toward fixing Hawaii’s doctor shortage by having the state join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC). Now they should go the extra mile and also green-light compacts for other medical professionals, such as nurses, physical and occupational therapists, emergency medical service personnel, psychologists, audiologists and many more."
That was the opening paragraph of Grassroot policy researcher Jonathan Helton's "Island Voices" commentary in Monday's Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Helton went on to explain that interstate medical compacts allow medical professionals in the member jurisdictions to more easily be licensed to practice in all the other member jurisdictions, as is the case with the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact for doctors, which covers 39 states, Guam and the District of Columbia.
He also noted how such compacts are catching on across the country because of their ability to increase the supply of medical professionals and improve the quality of medical services provided.
"It is welcome that we are addressing Hawaii’s doctor shortage," wrote Helton. "But doctors aren’t all we need."
He said according to the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, Hawaii lacks almost 3,900 healthcare workers across 89 professions aside from doctors, such as nurses, nurse aids, medical assistants, and social workers.
"Interstate licensure compacts exist for many of these professions as well," Helton said, "and joining them would mean that Hawaii could reduce its shortages in those fields, too."
He added: "It takes time to implement licensure compacts, so … it would be prudent for Hawaii’s Legislature and governor to approve joining other licensure compacts as soon as possible."
If you would like to read the entire "Island Voices" commentary, please go here.