Senate lawmakers have introduced legislation designed to increase the number of healthcare professionals available in the senior living field.

“There continues to be severe shortages of a wide range of health care professionals and caregivers trained in the provision of specialized geriatric care,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), a co-sponsor.

The proposed measure would set aside $45 million a year to fund the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program for half a decade. It also would reinstate the Geriatrics Academic Career Awards program at $6 million per year.

While introducing the legislation, Collins said the nation will need to train 1,600 geriatricians per year for the next 12 years. Currently, fewer than 7,300 physicians are board-certified geriatricians, she added.

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