MPR's Tim Nelson on federal military doctors bolstering MN hospitals

Emergency room
A bed in the emergency room at HCMC.
Tim Post | MPR News 2009

Dozens of military medical personnel will be pulling on scrubs and stepping into patient rooms at Hennepin Healthcare in downtown Minneapolis this week, with another group to follow in St. Cloud.

They're members of a so-called medical response team that FEMA and the Department of Defense sent to help relieve beleaguered Minnesota hospital staff. A surge of COVID-19 and other sick patients has threatened patient care at hospitals around the state.

MPR Reporter Tim Nelson gave host Cathy Wurzer the latest on the story, including where the military doctors are coming from and how they’ll support Minnesota hospital staff.

Nelson characterized the current crisis in the health care system as an issue of supply and demand.

“We need to find a way to get more people into the health care workforce,” Nelson said. He noted that Sen. Amy Klobuchar has suggested immigration reform to help keep international medical students studying in the U.S. here once they graduate.

“We also need to cut into the surging patient load by increasing the COVID-19 vaccination rate,” Nelson added.

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.

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