DeSantis Signs Massive Healthcare Package Addressing Statewide Staffing Shortages

DeSantis Signs Massive Healthcare Package Addressing Statewide Staffing Shortages

At a Thursday press conference in Bonita Springs, DeSantis signed the

Liv Caputo
Liv Caputo
March 21, 2024

BONITA SPRINGS, FL—Thursday afternoon Governor Ron DeSantis signed a series of healthcare-oriented bills as part of Florida's "Live Healthy" package, designed to broaden healthcare access and increase Florida's dwindling medical workforce.

Live Healthy, an initiative comprised of two Republican-led bills, was spearheaded by Senate President Kathleen Passidomo through and out of the Legislature.

"We are taking action to bolster our healthcare workforce to keep pace with our state’s unprecedented growth," Desantis said at a Thursday afternoon press conference. “I applaud Senate President Passidomo for her dedication to this cause, which contributes to positioning Florida as the freest and healthiest state in the nation.”

Working in conjunction, one bill expands training programs for healthcare workers, hoping to grow Florida's current shortage of medical professionals, while the other provides funding for healthcare research, production, and technology.

"The broad appeal of the free state of Florida continues to attract families, businesses, and seniors," Passidomo said, referring to Florida's title as the fastest-growing state in 2022 and 2023.

"Live Healthy will grow the healthcare workforce we need to serve our communities, increase access, and incentivize innovation, so Floridians can have more options and opportunities to live healthy."

By 2035, the Florida Medical Association reports that the Sunshine State will have a shortage of 17,924 physicians, 5,974 traditional primary care specialists, 1,519 emergency room physicians, 1,434 hospitalists, 1,230 psychiatrists, and 737 infectious disease specialists, among others, and as of 2021, 92% of Florida nursing centers faced staffing issues.

These alarming numbers have led lawmakers to take action in creating, enticing, and keeping Florida medical professionals.

In addition to the Live Healthy bills, DeSantis signed another three bills assisting the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, increasing opportunities for advanced behavioral healthcare, and creating public record exemptions for certain practitioners.

"Expanding access to care for pregnant moms and Floridians in rural and underserved areas will help make Florida a healthier state,” said State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo at the press conference.


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Liv Caputo

Liv Caputo

Livia Caputo is a senior at Florida State University, working on a major in Criminology, and a triple minor in Psychology, Communications, and German. She has been working on a journalism career for the past year, and hopes to become a successful reporter after graduation. Her work has been cited in Fox News, the New York Post, and the Daily Mail

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