Arizona to spend $60 million more on temporary staffing at healthcare facilities

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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced the state will spend $60 million for temporary staffing at healthcare facilities.

“This funding opportunity will decrease stress on existing hospital staff, increase hiring opportunities and decrease the risk of Covid-19 hospitalizations in Arizona,” Ducey said in a statement.

Ducey’s office noted hospitals are experiencing high patient volumes leading to staffing challenges for doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and other healthcare providers. At the same time, high demand across the US for these professionals has caused prices to increase.

“This latest Covid-19 surge has been challenging for healthcare workers,” Linda Hunt, president and CEO of Dignity Health’s Southwest Division, said in a statement. “They are exhausted yet continue to step-up in the most heroic ways. The high volume of patients compounded by the shortage of doctors and nurses across the country is creating intense competition for a limited pool of nurses nationwide.”

Overall, Ducey’s office said the state has dedicated $145 million to support hospital staffing during the pandemic. This includes $25 million dedicated in November and $60 million in December.