Philadelphia Health Department struggling to fill medical jobs

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With health care such a competitive sector in the region, Philadelphia’s health commissioner said he’s having trouble filling vacant jobs. 

Health Commissioner Dr. Donald Schwarz said his department is full of people nearing retirement age, and replacing health professionals is becoming more and more difficult. 

“We have a lot of staff turnover, although I have to say our staff turnover rates in our ambulatory care centers is comparable to other health care institutions,” he said. “But given the number of people, that still creates vacancies throughout the year.” 

Schwarz is concerned about competing with other health care institutions that are filling specialized positions.

“Demand for those folks is substantial and salary is often the deciding issue,” he said. “In the last year, with Council’s approval, we increased, for instance, salaries for our physicians. That has made a huge difference in our ability to fill unfilled vacancies for physicians and retain physicians.”

Schwarz said he’s hopeful city health department salaries can remain competitive.

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