The Looming Public Health Worker Shortage
The report also noted that the average age of public health workers is 47, meaning that large numbers of them are nearing retirement age. Recruitment of younger workers is difficult because most public health departments can't compete with the private sector on salary. In some cases, healthcare workers can double their salary by moving from the public to the private sector.
Congress is stepping in to help alleviate the shortage by considering legislation that would forgive student loans and offer scholarships to students who commit to public health careers. As beneficial as this approach may be, it depends on students completing college programs, and the public health system might not be able to wait that long.