05 April 2020 – Certain regulations temporarily waived to increase health care workforce

Type of Intervention: Specific Action
Sectors Involved: Health
Intervention Categories: Legal and policy; Regulatory change
Level of Jurisdiction: Texas
Lead People/Agency: Governor Greg Abbott

Overview: Governor Greg Abbott temporarily waived certain regulations to expand the health care workforce to assist with Texas’ COVID-19 response. Under this waiver, Physician Assistants (PA), Medical Physicists, Perfusionists, and Respiratory Care candidates for licensure who have completed all other requirements may enter the workforce under a​n emergency license working under supervision prior to taking the final licensure examination. The Governor’s waiver also provides for emergency licensees to undergo name-based background checks in place of fingerprint checks while fingerprint checks are unavailable due to the crisis.
Full details here: https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-waives-certain-regulations-to-expand-health-care-workforce-during-covid-19-response

Type of Justification: Perception of an increased threat
Evidence/Justification: This follows a series of prior actions by the Governor to increase the capacity of the medical work force. The Governor said: “The State of Texas is bolstering our response to COVID-19 by expanding our health care workforce and removing barriers that might prevent professionals from serving their fellow Texans.” “Our front line health care professionals play a vital role in our ongoing response to protect public health, and we are committed to supporting them and ensuring they have the ability to perform their important duties.”