Addressing the Allied Health Workforce Shortage: Challenges and Solutions

Allied Health Workforce

Sharing is caring!

With a wide range of occupations, including speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and more, the field of allied health is essential to the healthcare system. For the purpose of delivering high-quality care and enhancing patient outcomes, these specialists are crucial.


The lack of allied health professionals, however, has become a rising worry in recent years, and this has considerable negative effects on the healthcare sector. In this blog, we explore the causes of this shortage, its effects, and potential solutions.



The Current Allied Health Workforce Landscape



Before delving into the challenges and solutions, let’s take a closer look at the current landscape of the allied health workforce shortage. According to recent statistics, the demand for allied health professionals is rapidly increasing due to factors such as an aging population, advancements in medical technology, and the growing prevalence of chronic diseases. However, the supply of allied health workers is struggling to keep up with this rising demand.


By 2033, there is predicted to be a 124,000 physician shortfall in the United States. To meet this need and to replace retiring nurses, the country needs to hire at least 200,000 nurses annually. Accordingly, in historically disenfranchised rural and urban regions, there are severe shortages of allied health and mental health specialists. In order for America’s healthcare workforce to guarantee access to care and be adequately prepared for the delivery system of the future, supportive policies are required.



Challenged Faced


Inadequate Recruitment and Retention Strategies


One of the primary challenges contributing to the allied health workforce shortage is the lack of effective recruitment and retention strategies. Firstly, many healthcare organizations struggle to attract and retain qualified allied health professionals, resulting in unfilled positions and increased workloads for existing staff.


Educational Barriers


Becoming an allied health professional often requires specialized education and training, which is time-consuming and costly. Certainly, this poses a barrier for individuals interested in pursuing these careers, as they face financial constraints or have limited access to educational resources.


Limited Awareness and Prestige


Compared to other healthcare professions, allied health careers often suffer from limited public awareness and recognition. Therefore, the lack of understanding about the crucial role these professionals play in healthcare deters individuals from pursuing allied health careers, further exacerbating the shortage.



Solutions to Address the Allied Health Workforce Shortage



1. Considering an Allied Health Workforce Provider


Another potential solution to address the shortage of allied health professionals is to consider partnering with an allied health workforce provider. Providers, such as staffing firms, specialize in recruiting and supplying qualified allied health professionals to healthcare organizations. By partnering with such providers, healthcare institutions are able to tap into a pool of skilled professionals who have the potential to fill vacant positions and alleviate the burden on existing staff.


2. Expanding Educational Opportunities


To overcome the educational barriers, it is crucial to expand educational opportunities for individuals interested in allied health careers. Accordingly, this is achieved through the establishment of more allied health programs, increasing funding for scholarships and grants, and offering flexible learning options such as online courses.


3. Raising Awareness and Promoting Prestige


Efforts need to be made to raise public awareness about the vital role of allied health professionals in healthcare delivery. By showcasing the impact these professionals have on patient outcomes and overall well-being, more individuals have the opportunity to feel inspired to pursue allied health careers. Furthermore, promoting the prestige of allied health professions through recognition programs and professional development opportunities enhances their desirability.


Search jobs

The allied health workforce shortage poses significant challenges to the healthcare industry, affecting patient care and overall healthcare outcomes. However, by addressing the challenges head-on and implementing effective solutions, it is possible to mitigate the shortage and ensure a robust allied health workforce for the future. Only through these concerted efforts, are we able to overcome the challenges and ensure the availability of skilled allied health professionals to meet the growing healthcare demands in our society.



Need an allied health workforce provider? Contact us! We have the talent you are seeking.


About Phaxis


Founded in 2002, Phaxis is now one of the country’s leading recruitment firms. Specializing in
healthcare, information technology, accounting, financial services recruitment, office support, legal, HR,
and marketing, Phaxis partners with highly qualified talent and top employers to create rewarding
career opportunities that result in long-term success for candidates and employers. Visit us at

Drew Anson

Chief Delivery Officer

Drew Anson is Chief Delivery Officer at Phaxis, a Workforce Solutions Company based in New York.

In this role, Drew leads the delivery and recruiting working closely with the leadership team to define a model that is efficient at supporting the firm’s current needs and is scalable for future growth.

Drew is a seasoned executive with more than 13 years of Services & Recruitment experience. In that time, he has supported numerous Fortune 100/500/1000 organizations across industries by providing global workforce solutions, namely resources and thought leadership for large-scale projects, implementations, and managed services.

Prior to joining Phaxis predecessor firm Park Hudson in 2021, Drew spent three years at engineering technology and talent solutions firm, Collabera, as Director of Sales in North Carolina. Earlier in his career, he spent nearly eight years at Insight Global, most recently as Sales Manager of the Columbus, OH office.

He holds a degree from Central Michigan University in Sales & Marketing.

Favorite Book:   Extreme Ownership – Jocko Willink & Leif Babin
Favorite Team:   Michigan Wolverines
Inspirational Quote:  “There is no substitute for hard work.”  – Thomas A. Edison