Aquino law to help health care professionals serve state residents


CHICAGO – To ease the licensure and practice processes of international health care professionals in the state, State Senator Omar Aquino sponsored a new law that creates the Task Force on Internationally-Licensed Health Care Professionals Act.

“Illinois residents deserve high-quality health care, and the unfortunate COVID-19 pandemic exposed our need for comprehensive measures that expand people’s access to medical services,” said Aquino (D-Chicago). “This law removes some of the barriers that stop health care professionals from saving lives and treating those in need.”

The Task Force on Internationally-Licensed Health Care Professionals will study state practices that create obstacles for internationally-licensed physicians and nurses looking to practice in Illinois. Using the information gathered by the task force, Illinois will address these obstacles prohibiting licensed health care professionals from operating in their field of expertise while in the state.

Allowing internationally-licensed professionals to practice in Illinois ensures that qualified individuals are able to provide their services to people who need them without setback. This is especially important for immigrant and refugee physicians who would have to repeat significant parts of their education and training or pay the cost of re-licensure under previous law.

“We’ve seen how insufficient medical workforce personnel costs us lives and hinders the well-being of health care workers who are expected to attend to more crises than they can handle,” Aquino said. “Not only will this law take the burden away from these professionals, but it will also bring more cultural sensitivity to the people treated by internationally-licensed health care workers.”

The law, previously House Bill 5465, is now in effect.