With the Midwest relying increasingly on foreign-born healthcare professionals to fill critical labor gaps, a new study by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs finds that urgent immigration reforms are needed to ensure the future vitality of the healthcare sector. Updating visa allocations for foreign-born graduates from US medical schools, removing H-1B visa quotas and caps for healthcare professionals, and streamlining credentialing processes for foreign-born professionals would help the United States, and the Midwest in particular, mitigate acute shortages of healthcare workers just as the aging baby boomer population is expected to demand increasing resources.
The healthcare sector, which is fundamental to the U.S. economy and livability, is under strain:
A continued political stalemate on immigration reform means these issues will only grow in urgency. The report argues that Congress should work urgently with the next Administration to update policies to: