The US may experience “dangerous shortage” of healthcare workers due to COVID-19 according to media reports.
Rabat – The US government is encouraging foreign health professionals interested in joining American medical workers in fighting COVID-19 to reach out to American embassies for a visa appointment.
The US State Department published a statement on Thursday, March 26, announcing an update to its “H” and “J” visas for medical professionals.
“We encourage medical professionals seeking to work in the United States on a work or exchange visitor (sic), particularly those working to treat or mitigate the effects of COVID-19, to reach out to the nearest embassy or consulate to request a visa appointment,” the statement reads.
The department also asked foreign doctors in the US wishing to extend their stay or adjust their visa status to visit the website for visa extensions.
Nationals of Cuba, however, are excluded from participating in the visa initiative.
The US surpassed China and Italy as the country with the highest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases. Over 85,000 people are infected with the coronavirus in the US.
US media have reported on the potential shortage of medical staff amid the crisis.
“Doctors and nurses are reporting gear shortages, lax protocols, and a high level of stress in their workplaces — with the worst still to come. Some of them told Vox that they consider getting infected with the coronavirus an inevitability,” VOX reported.
The news outlet also quoted health experts who expressed frustration over their risk of infection.
“My frustration is that I have never felt like my safety is important,” one doctor said.
“When I’m going to work, I could endanger me and my family and I feel like my institution doesn’t even care at all.”