As a result of the Affordable Care Act, roughly 17.6 million previously uninsured people have gained access to health insurance1. Combine this increase in healthcare coverage with an aging population and a shortage in a workforce designed to help them, and what results is an ever increasing need for trained public health professionals.
Key Workforce Facts
- The world will be short 12.9 million health-care workers by 2035; that figure currently stands at 7.2 million2.
- From 1980 the size of the public health workforce at governmental agencies is estimated to have decreased by 50,000, despite a 22% (50 million) increase in population.
- Healthcare employement [has] continued to trend up in 2017, adding an average of 20,000 jobs per month.3
- There are documented and forecasted shortages of public health physicians, public health nurses, epidemiologists, health care educators, and administrators. Without enough public health workers protecting us where we live, work and play, we all are vulnerable to serious health risks.
- To replenish the workforce and avert the crisis, schools of public health will have to train three times the current number of graduates over the next 12 years.
If these issues aren't addressed soon, then there will be serious implications for the health of billions of people across all regions of the world.
Colorado Public Health Reauthorization Act
In 2008 the State of Colorado passed the Colorado Public Health Reauthorization Act that requires public health agencies to develop state and local public health plans for the public health system in Colorado. With this plan the State will need public health professionals to make quality health services possible.
Under the Colorado Public Health Reauthorization Act, Colorado has developed a comprehensive public health plan that outlines how quality public health services are provided. Local/district public health agencies have also adopted similar public health plans.
The Statewide Public Health Improvement Plan sets public health priorities and guides the public health system in targeting core public health services and functions through program development implementation and evaluation. It also increases the efficiency and effectiveness of Colorado's public health system and identifies areas needing greater resource allocation. This state-wide improvement plan makes Colorado the perfect place to pursue an advanced degree in public health.
1 FACT SHEET: The Affordable Care Act: Healthy Communities Six Years Later. (2016, March 2)
2 Global health workforce shortage to reach 12.9 million in coming decades. (2013, November 11)
Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health
3Bureau of Labor Statistics