Governor Hochul announces $ 10 billion investment in the state’s healthcare industry
CAPITAL REGION, NY (NEWS10) – Governor Kathy Hochul, the largest in the state’s history, announces a massive $ 10 billion investment in the state’s health care industry. Much of the money is used for wages and even bonus payments.
Healthcare professionals across New York state have welcomed the governor’s investments in the troubled but critical healthcare industry, including Gary Fitzgerald, President and CEO of the Iroquois Healthcare Association in Clifton Park. âSo there are a lot of different factors at play, but that helps,â says Fitzgerald, âsome of the things the governor talked about: lending, scholarships, increasing doctors and nurses all over New York, all of those things will help. â
In their plan, the governor hopes to grow the state’s healthcare industry by around 20 percent over a five-year period. In the $ 10 billion investment are:
- $ 2 billion to support healthcare wages
- $ 2 billion in support of employee loyalty awards in healthcare and psychiatry, with up to $ 3,000 going to full-time employees who stay in their position for a year and prorated bonuses for those who work fewer hours
- $ 500 million for the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLAs) to increase wages for HR employees
- $ 2 billion for healthcare infrastructure and improved laboratory capacity
- Other investments in labor access and provision and health care
Investing in the health care industry also includes the ability to earn free study and scholarships for health care workers who practice in New York state after graduation. According to a press release, âGovernor Hochul will be providing direct funding to the education of health professionals provided they work in New York State for a period of time after receiving their diploma. The plan provides free tuition, covers training costs for high-demand health care professions, and offers scholarships to compensate for lost income while at school. It would also provide all-round services such as childcare or transportation assistance to remove barriers to New Yorkers’ education in health care professions.
However, Gary Fitzgerald says the burnout that many in the healthcare industry are now experiencing is nothing new; the pandemic has exacerbated the problem and the need for a solution. âBack then (before the pandemic) we had bottlenecks, the bottlenecks and vacancies have almost doubled since the pandemic for many different reasons. I think it was precisely because of the underestimation of the state’s health workers in hospitals and nursing homes and other facilities that this governor realized for the first time that serious investments must be made in this workforce. ”
There are some who are concerned that the state is using tax dollars to support the healthcare industry. According to Bill Hammond, Senior Fellow in Health Policy at the Empire Center, “Hospitals and many other health care providers are great profitable businesses … taxpayers shouldn’t be the first resort to balance their budgets or fund their contracts.”