Gov. Abbott waives more regulations to help healthcare workers join workforce

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Monday, April 6, 2020
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In the video above, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott spoke with ABC13's Melanie Lawson about what Texas is doing to fight the spread of COVID-19.

AUSTIN, Texas (KTRK) -- Governor Greg Abbott has temporarily waived certain regulations to get more healthcare workers out on the job to assist with Texas' COVID-19 response.

Under this waiver, physician assistants, medical physicists, perfusionists, and respiratory care candidates working on their license who have completed all other requirements may enter the workforce under an emergency license working under supervision prior to taking the final licensure examination.

READ ALSO: Gov. Abbott waives several regulations in hopes of expanding nursing workforce

Abbott'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.

The waiver allows more flexibility between physicians and the physician assistants and advance practice registered nurses they supervise including allowing for oral prescriptive delegation agreements to enable rapid deployment of those practitioners during the emergency.

"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," said Abbott. "Our front line healthcare 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."