Our country’s health care system was in a weak position before the outbreak of COVID-19. Much of the health care bureaucracy that was in place contributed to where we stood when the COVID-19 crisis reached the U.S. and ultimately Nebraska. The many regulations on the books have affected the available supply of healthcare workers, medicines, medical supplies and medical facilities.
This afternoon, Governor Ricketts announced the issuance of an Executive Order that would require the state of Nebraska to recognize the occupational licenses of health care workers from other states in an effort to combat the threat of health care worker shortages as the state provides care from those confirmed to have COVID-19. The Executive Order also will waive license fees, loosen requirements on supervision ratios, loosen requirements on FBI background checks, allow retired healthcare practitioners to work in our state.
This is a much-needed step in the right direction. Today, a little less health care bureaucracy exists in Nebraska. Yes, specific institutional policies and procedures may vary from medical facility to medical facility whether between or within states, but the baseline knowledge and skills acquired and used by health care workers on a daily basis are pretty standard regardless of which state you work.
I’m looking forward to the discovery of more ways to lessen bureaucracy as we work our way through the uncharted territory of COVID-19.