Governor Hochul Announces Direct Payments to Healthcare Workers as Part of $10 Billion Healthcare Plan

Categories: Economic

Governor Kathy Hochul on January 5 announced a $10 billion multi-year investment in healthcare, the largest in State history, to rebuild and grow the healthcare workforce and strengthen the healthcare system as part of the 2022 State of the State. The plan will invest $10 billion in New York State’s healthcare sector, including more than $4 billion to support wages and bonuses for healthcare workers, and will invest in the healthcare workforce development pipeline to meet the current and increasing demand for medical professionals.

“From the very beginning of the pandemic, New York’s healthcare workers have been on the front lines,” Governor Hochul said. “We must stop the current hemorrhaging of healthcare workers, and we need to not just say we owe them a debt of gratitude, but actually pay them the debt we owe. The health of every New Yorker depends on a strong, stable, and equitable healthcare system, and healthcare workers are its very foundation. With the largest ever investment in healthcare, we will retain, rebuild, and grow our healthcare workforce and ensure we deliver the highest quality healthcare for New Yorkers.”

The pandemic has dramatically exacerbated healthcare workforce concerns, impacting the experience of our essential workers as well as access to high quality care for New Yorkers. As of June 2021, New York’s healthcare workforce was still 3 percent below pre-pandemic levels, and 11 percent below where it would need to be by the end of 2022 to keep up with pre-pandemic projected demand.

Make a $10 Billion Investment in Our Healthcare Sector and Support Wages for Workers

New York’s essential health and human services workers have seen us through a once-in-a-century public health crisis and turned our state into a model for battling — and beating — COVID-19. But many of these workers are still earning a wage far below what they need to sustain a household and a fair quality of life.

To grow New York’s healthcare workforce by 20 percent over the next 5 years, Governor Hochul will make a $10 billion, multi-year investment in healthcare, including more than $4 billion to support wages and bonuses for healthcare workers.

Key components of this multi-year investment include:

  • $2 billion to support healthcare wages
  • $2 billion to support healthcare and mental hygiene worker retention bonuses, with up to $3,000 bonuses going to full-time workers who remain in their positions for one year, and pro-rated bonuses for those working fewer hours
  • $500 million for Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) to help raise wages for human services workers
  • $2 billion for healthcare capital infrastructure and improved lab capacity
  • Other investments in workforce and healthcare access and delivery

The growing demand for our essential healthcare workforce requires also swift and strong action. Governor Hochul will rebuild and grow the healthcare workforce with a program designed to improve the career pipeline, expand access to healthcare training and education, recruit care workers to underserved areas, and strengthen home care.

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