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Rural Medical Flight Services Face Workforce Shortage


Medical flight services have been filling the gaps for rural America, especially in light of the fact that several of them have closed down in recent times. The closures were especially high in certain rural areas in the year 2020. It must be understood in this context that medical flight services are specialized in nature and are no less than flying ICUs.

The maximum number of patients that avail these services do so for health emergencies like strokes and life-threatening injuries. With the lack of appropriate medical facilities in rural America, many times, medical flight services are the only resort.

Workforce Shortage Faced by Medical Flight Services are Adding Insult to Injury

A recent statistic reveals that one in every five healthcare workers is leaving the industry. The reasons for this are believed to range from exhaustingly long working hours to poor pay. It is becoming increasingly difficult for medical flight services to employ a qualified and experienced workforce to get this life-saving service underway.

Replenishing the dwindling workforce is easier said than done. It takes a lot of training and certification to orient the staff to provide exceptional services under strenuous circumstances. Besides, trained pilots are hard to come by and the low wages make the task all the more difficult.

Creating a Pipeline of Trained Medical Experts is the Need of the Hour

Healthcare staff who are trained in imparting services for emergencies like strokes cannot be produced overnight. There is a need to train rural medical staff to double up as professionals who can handle evacuations conducted by medical flight services.

There needs to be a concerted effort to achieve this, wherein doctors, pilots and paramedical staff are trained for the purpose. It is imperative that this trained workforce is able to get the patients to appropriate medical facilities within the golden hour to better the survival rate and treatment outcomes.

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