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BURLINGTON, Vermont (WCAX) — Vermont will need 9,000 health care workers over the next decade, according to leaders who gathered in Burlington on Friday to discuss the issue.

UVM Medical Center is asking Vermont regulators for a double-digit rate increase, primarily due to rising staffing costs. Statewide, hospitals spent $115 million last year on traveling nurses

The roundtable at UVMMC brought together health care leaders, educators and Biden administration officials. Senator Bernie Sanders has spent most of his political career attacking health care. He says the problem is twofold: the inability to train enough workers and spiraling costs.

And he says Vermont Tech and other schools that train nurses don’t have the space to accommodate all of the students looking to enter the field.

New federal funding for the National Health Service Corps is intended to reduce the problem. This program pays medical school bills for professionals who work in underserved areas. “We get the service obligations, we train more people, and then we have people practicing in some of the toughest places, to make sure we have health care services,” said Carole Johnson of the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Although she admits that some of the reforms will take years and require rethinking the US health care system. “To ensure that we are thinking about the entire nursing education pipeline and that nursing schools and hospitals are working together to train the next generation of nurses.”