California Launches “Health Corps” to Help Fight Coronavirus

As confirmed coronavirus cases continue to rise throughout California, Governor Gavin Newsom is finding new ways to get more health care professionals into positions where they can help. 

Recently, he created the California Health Corps, where anyone with a license in their specialty, including retired healthcare professionals and students, can apply to work in hospitals. 

How Health Corps Was Formed

The California Health Corps was originally founded in response to rising coronavirus cases in California. Experts projected that tens of thousands of COVID-19 patients would flood the state’s hospitals by mid-May, and worried that there would be a severe shortage of healthcare workers. This was even more worrisome since the state of California had a healthcare worker shortage prior to COVID-19’s arrival.

Under the program, retirees, in-process licensees, and even medical and nursing students would be allowed to practice in some capacity on temporary licenses. Currently, applications are being taken for a wide variety of medical positions, including dentists, pharmacists, and other licensed professionals. 

Newsom assured applicants that the state would assist with relicensing so health care workers could quickly get through the process and start working. 

In the first two days after applications opened, 34,000 people applied. Within a week, over 80,000 had signed up.

So far, many of the applicants have been nursing students. The opportunity to work for the Health Corps brought hope to many nursing students whose graduation had been postponed because coronavirus prevented them from completing the clinical component of their education, which requires them to do hospital rotations. In the wake of the virus, hospitals restricted access, including to nursing students, to prevent virus spread. 

At present, the program has not fully kicked off. Because Californians have committed themselves to social distancing measures early, the forecast of how many people would get sick and how many workers would be needed was not quite accurate. 

As of now, people who applied for the Health Corps are, for the most part, not needed. In addition, only around one-third of applicants turned out to be eligible, as proper licensure is required to be accepted into the program. 

However, applicants who have successfully passed the screening process currently remain on call and will be asked to work if the need arises. If a second wave of the virus occurs, it is likely they will be needed. The state is still taking applications on the Department of Health website.  

While the Health Corps is undoubtedly an inspiring development, many current health care workers are suffering during COVID-19, whether they are facing difficulties getting their licenses or are worried about being disciplined for filing complaints about a lack of proper medical masks

In these cases, a medical license lawyer may be able to help. Scott J Harris has assisted many health care professionals in cases where they were denied a license or faced unfounded disciplinary action. He may be able to help you, as well. Contact JS Harris today for a free consultation.

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This blog is meant to be informational. It is not meant to be all-encompassing legal advice. If you are facing a situation involving your professional license, seek counsel from a licensed attorney.