DENVER (CBS4)– Colorado lawmakers discussed a bill that would create a so-called health service reserve corps. The corps would be made up entirely of volunteer health care workers and be the first of its kind in the country.
The goal is to help health care workers who are burned out from the pandemic.
The volunteers would be cross trained and deployed similar to National Guard troops. The bill sponsors are an emergency room nurse and a pediatrician.
“Really trying to figure out can we be self reliant here in Colorado, how can we utilize all of the health care workers that we have and make sure that they’re cross trained and that they get benefits from this as well, similar to what National Guard members get,” said Rep. Kyle Mullica, a Democrat representing Thornton.
Mullica says while his workload has increased during the pandemic, Rep. Yadira Caraveo’s has decreased. They bill, Mullica says, is about utilizing under-utilized health care workers.
Because there is nothing like it in the country, there are a lot of details to work out including who oversees the corps, provides ongoing training, and pays for that training. The bill would set-up a task force to figure out how to make the dream a reality.
The bill passed its first committee on Wednesday with a 7-4 vote.