Florida Can Reinvent the Medical Profession and the Healthcare Industry

by Bobby Reyes

The Helpmate Robot – a hospital delivery platform | Photo by Kaluga 2012 via Wikimedia Commons

Part XIV of the “Florida, the State of the Future” Series

This column discussed last May 25th how Florida could be the new home of millions of new nurses (and other medical professionals). Ty Javellana, who was then aspiring to run in the Democratic primary for the position of Florida’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), wanted to adopt this column’s idea as part of his economic platform for the task of recruiting, training, and Board-certifying nursing students from North America, American territories, the Philippines, India and other countries. And elevate Florida as one of the top five states in healthcare — in answer to the present-and-future pandemics. Readers may refresh their memory about how Florida could fill up the majority of a 13-million nursing shortage by 2030 at this link.

Then gubernatorial hopeful Nikki Fried joined Mr. Javellana in looking at what was tentatively billed as the “Florida Nursing Initiative 2023-2030,” Both promised to ventilate the issue in the general campaign. But Ms. Nikki lost in the Democratic primary; Mr. Javellana suffered from a series of debilitating illnesses that his attending physicians advised him to end his primary bid.

Perhaps all the candidates in the 2022 general elections in Florida should emulate Nikki Fried and Ty Javellana and start discussing how Florida can reinvent the nursing profession and the medical and healthcare fields.

Yesterday, the “Largest private-sector nurses strike in U.S. history begins in Minnesota,” hugged the headlines of the Washington Post and other mainstream newspapers.

The media reports that “about 15,000 nurses in Minnesota walked off the job Monday to protest understaffing and overwork — marking the most significant strike of private-sector nurses in U.S. history. The strike, slated to last three days, spotlights nationwide nursing shortages exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic that often result in patients not receiving adequate care. Tensions remain high between nurses and healthcare administrators across the country, and there are signs that work stoppages could spread to other states.

“The nurses are demanding a role in staffing plans, changes to shift scheduling practices, and higher wages. Minnesota nurses charge that some units go without a lead nurse on duty and that nurses fresh out of school are delegated assignments typically held by more-experienced nurses across some 16 hospitals where strikes are expected.”

To read more about the latest strike by nurses in Minnesota written by Lauren Kaon Gurley, please go to this link.

“Unless American politicians, especially Floridian elected leaders, are robots themselves, perhaps they may solve the healthcare crisis by simply creating robotic substitutes for nurses, physicians, and other healthcare workers.”

Perhaps we should all remember that approximately 5,000 nurses in Minnesota did a labor strike also in June 2016. The nurses voted “No” to the hospital’s “Staffing by Robot Plan.” Please go to this link to read about the 2016 nurses’ strike against their employers’ plan to replace most of them with robots, as written by Alexandra Bradbury in her “Labor Notes” column.

The 2022 Floridian candidates of both major parties and their staff should read several articles about the 2030 nursing shortage worldwide by simply typing “Nursing Shortage” in the search box of this publication. Or they can even Google the “nursing” discussions in The Straphanger and other relevant articles in the Philippine Daily Mirror.

Many problems bug the American healthcare industry. Among them are the imminent closure of more than 400 rural hospitals because of rising operating costs, diminishing revenues, and staffing shortages. Unless American politicians, especially Floridian elected leaders, are robots, perhaps they may solve the healthcare crisis by simply creating robotic substitutes for nurses, physicians, and other healthcare workers.

And perhaps they can also remedy the current problem of qualified-and-experienced teachers in the public schools of Florida and other states by using “robotic instructors and tutors.”

What say you, Floridian voters?

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