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Harris, Surgeon Gen., Warn of Burnout  05/23 06:10


   WASHINGTON (AP) -- Vice President Kamala Harris and U.S. Surgeon General Dr. 
Vivek Murthy are warning of burnout among the nation's health care staff after 
more than two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the potential for 
severe worker shortages in the years ahead if the situation is not addressed.

   Harris and Murthy on Monday are visiting Children's National Hospital in 
Washington to meet with health care providers and deliver remarks as Murthy 
unveils a report, "Surgeon General's Advisory Addressing Health Worker 
Burnout." It sounds the alarm over a projected shortage of "3 million essential 
low-wage health workers" in the next five years, as well as nearly 140,000 
doctors by 2033.

   "The nation's health depends on the well-being of our health workforce. 
Confronting the long-standing drivers of burnout among our health workers must 
be a top national priority," Murthy said in a statement. "COVID-19 has been a 
uniquely traumatic experience for the health workforce and for their families, 
pushing them past their breaking point. Now, we owe them a debt of gratitude 
and action. And if we fail to act, we will place our nation's health at risk."

   The administration is calling for new investments and steps to protect the 
mental wellbeing of health care workers, including by expanding counseling 
offerings, reducing administrative burdens and promoting worker safety on the 

   The initiative comes as the Biden administration is mounting a nationwide 
push to address mental health issues. President Joe Biden unveiled a national 
strategy to expand mental health and drug abuse treatment during his State of 
the Union address in March.

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