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Out of Retirement and Into the Fire: How COVID-19 is Affecting Medical Retirements

Posted on in Healthcare License Defense IDFPR

shutterstock_171030227.jpg“We’re in the middle of a battle, and we need reinforcements,” the Governor said in his call to action. “Come back and join the fight.”

Illinois was among those states counting on retired (or even soon-to-be retired) medical personnel to stave the onslaught of COVID-19 cases in hospitals and to administer much needed vaccines. In early 2020, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker slashed through the bureaucratic red tape by waiving state licensing fees, expediting license renewals and extending soon-to-be-expired licenses for healthcare professionals.

(Active license reinstatement waivers are scheduled to expire May 31, 2022, per the 12/20/21 IDFPR Proclamation.)

COVID-19 made one fact abundantly clear: There are not enough active, licensed physicians to attend to the tens of thousands of hospitalized COVID-19 patients around the country. With the newest variant, Omicron, sweeping its way through the nation, many hospitals are struggling to keep up with their current staff and are at risk of being overwhelmed. Seeking retired professionals is a way of preventing burn out and ease conditions for an already stressed roster of doctors and nurses. Retired physicians and other medical professionals are also being sought not just to stem the flow, but also for their years of experienced and emotionally stable outlook.

The needs are not being limited to emergency room war zones. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has also amended its rules to allow retired health professionals to administer COVID-19 vaccine shots. According to the White House COVID-19 Response coordinator, the rules, drafted under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act, will also be adapted to allow licensed doctors, nurses and health practitioners to administer shots across state lines. The vaccination campaign extending to children has only widened the need for the retirement brigade. The recent endorsement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to vaccinate children ages five to 11 against COVID-19 with vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech. This recommendation followed the CDC’s independent vaccine advisers voting unanimously in favor of the child-sized doses of the vaccine for younger children. A school-focused vaccine clinic (SLVC) called Health4Chicago (H4C) will be bringing pediatric COVID-19 vaccines to Chicago schools and is seeking volunteers.

Despite the risks, many retired medical professionals have answered the call to arms. License renewal might be a need that many retired medical professionals are now considering. Williams & Nickl has represented thousands of licensed professionals and their licensed business entities who face issues with IDFPR. If you find yourself in such a situation, Williams & Nickl can provide the help you need.

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