Maine's health care workforce shortage is exacerbated by the state's demographics
Maine hospitals continue to grapple with a severe workforce shortage. Dr. Dora Mills of MaineHealth says demographics are part of the challenge.
The 2020 census found that the Northeast has the highest percentage in the country of people older than 50, and the lowest percentage of people ages 18-50.
"So we have the highest percentage of people who generally need the most health care, 50 and older, but the lowest percentage of people who make up the, generally speaking, the vast majority of the health care workforce," she says.
Mills says MaineHealth is still dependent on contract labor from out of state, which costs significantly more than hiring local staff.