DENVER (CBS4)– Colorado lawmakers discussed a bill to create what is known as a Health Care Reserve Corps. The corps would consist entirely of volunteer health workers and would be the first of its kind in the country.
The aim is to help healthcare workers who have been burned out by the pandemic.
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The volunteers would be trained and deployed in a similar way to the National Guard troops. The bill sponsors are a nurse in the emergency room and a pediatrician.
“If we’re really trying to find out, how can we be self-employed here in Colorado, how can we deploy all of the healthcare workers we have and make sure they are well trained and benefit from it, much like National Guard members get,” said Rep. Kyle Mullica, a Democrat representing Thornton.
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Mullica says while his workload has increased during the pandemic, Rep. Yadira Caraveo’s has decreased. According to Mullica, the bill is about deploying underutilized health care workers.
Since there is nothing like it in the country, many details need to be worked out, including who oversees the corps, provides ongoing training, and pays for that training. The bill would set up a task force to see how the dream can become a reality.
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The draft law was passed by the first committee on Wednesday 7-4.