Gov. Greg Abbott has announced a plan to address the shortage of healthcare workers in the Lone Star State.

Abbott sent a letter on Thursday to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) directing the body to create a task force to investigate the matter and develop solutions, according to a press release.

“The State of Texas has invested millions in job training grants to help prepare students for high-demand careers, such as nursing, to meet the healthcare needs of our state, but we must do more,” the letter reads.

Abbott said he wants the task force to “provide opportunities and remove barriers that exist” in hopes of expanding healthcare programs at institutions in Texas and growing the healthcare field.

“Texas is the fastest growing state in the nation, and it is vital that we continue to expand our healthcare workforce to meet the needs of our citizens as we build a bigger, better Texas,” the letter continued.

The task force is expected to investigate the challenges of establishing and maintaining sufficient clinical rotation sites and placements and will be required to issue a report by October 1, 2024.

In 2023, a new campus in Richardson under the Hospital Corporation of America began construction to combat the healthcare shortage, as covered by The Dallas Express.

Texas Health and Human Services projected that by 2024, the demand for nurses within Texas would be met, according to a 2022 report. The healthcare industry added more than 650,000 jobs in 2023 nationwide, marking the fastest growth rate the United States has seen in over three decades, according to Healthcare Dive.