chapter  8
Health Personnel: The Challenges Ahead
WithEli Ginzberg
Pages 15

This chapter explores some policy issues affecting physicians, nurses, and allied health workers—the three critical groups of health care personnel— and identifies the challenges that shifting trends imply for health care managers in the decade ahead. Most analyses of the remorseless growth in health care expenditures have paid insufficient attention to the large numbers of individuals who earn their livelihood by working in the health sector. A corollary to the fact that health employment in the 1980s grew by almost half is that the growth was relatively painless. Analysis of the large pool of allied health workers revealed relatively few acute problems at the beginning of the 1990s. The employment of over nine million persons in health care attests to two fundamental facts: the commitment of most Americans to ready and broad access to quality health care and the willingness of society—employers, government, and households alike—to foot the bill.