Proposed limits on immigration to the United States may worsen the nation's shortage of workers who care for old and disabled people, a new study finds.
More than three million immigrants work within the U.S. healthcare system. That represents 18 percent of all health care workers. Nearly 25 percent of care providers in nursing homes nationwide are immigrants. Nursing homes care for elderly adults and people with a physical disability or long-term health disorder.
Doctor Leah Zallman is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Massachusetts. She was the lead writer of a report on the study. The report appeared earlier this month in the publication Health Affairs.
Zallman said, We rely heavily on immigrants to care for the elderly and disabled, particularly in their everyday care.
To take a closer look at the importance of immigrants in the healthcare system, Zallman and other researchers examined the Annual Social and Economic Supplement of the 2018 Current Population Survey.
The survey found that 1 million workers in the long-term healthcare industry were immigrants. That represents 23.5 percent of total workers in such jobs.
Zallman noted that immigrants are especially likely to work overnight hours. This is an industry that needs people round-the-clock, she said. They are really filling the gaps.
In 2017, more than 27 percent of direct care workers were immigrants. The study defined direct care work as nurses, home health aides or home care aides. Such workers help with everyday activities like helping people eat meals, put on clothes, and wash up.
Nurses and health aides perform other duties, such as taking a patient's blood pressure and offering range-of-motion exercises.
Home care aides may help clean a patient's home and cook food for them. They do not perform medical tasks.
The elderly population in America is expected to double by the year 2050. Workers who are prepared to care for elderly or disabled patients are already in short supply, the researchers noted.
The Health Resources and Services Administration predicts a 34-percent rise in the demand for direct care workers over the next 10 years.
Last month, the administration of President Donald Trump proposed legislation that would reduce the number of legal immigrants while placing more importance on educated, skilled immigrants. Such changes, the report noted, could sharply reduce the number of low-wage immigrant workers.
Albert Wu is a doctor and professor of health policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Maryland. He called the new study very important and timely.
Wu said, The current proposal to restrict immigration to more skilled or professional applicants runs directly counter to the need for this category of work.
I'm Ashley Thompson.
1. nursing home 养老院
Isaac Binger has died in a nursing home in Florida at the age of 87.
2. run counter to 违反，与……背道而驰
Does this run counter to the principles of socialism?
有300多万移民服务于美国医疗体系 。这些人占所有医疗工作者的18% 。美国养老院近25%的医疗服务提供者是移民 。养老院专门照顾年长的成年人以及有肢体残障或者长期健康障碍的人 。
利亚医生是马萨诸塞州哈佛医学院的医学教授 。她曾牵头撰写过这项研究的报告 。该报告本月早些时候发表在了《卫生保健》期刊上 。
利亚表示，移民熬夜工作的可能性尤其高 。这个行业需要24小时有人值班，她如是说道 。移民填补了这一缺口 。
2017年，超过27%的直接护理工作人员是移民 。该研究对直接护理工作人员的定义是：护士、家庭健康助理或家庭护理助手 。这类工作人员是协助日常活动的，比如帮助他人食用三餐、穿衣、洗漱 。
家庭护理助手可以助力清理病人的家，并为病人烹饪食物 。他们不负责医疗方面的事务 。
美国的老龄人口预计会在2050年之前翻番 。愿意照顾老人和残障人士的工作人员已经处于紧缺状态，研究人员如是说道 。
上个月，特朗普政府提出的立法会减少合法移民的数量，同时更加注重受过教育的、有技能的移民 。该报告指出，这样的变动会大量减少低薪移民工作人员的数量 。
艾伯特是一名医生，也是马里兰州约翰霍普金斯公共卫生学院卫生政策的教授 。他认为这项新研究非常重要、非常及时 。
Ashley Thompson为您播报 。