NPR, September 1, 2017
Andrea Hsu and Rebecca Hersher

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Facing tremendous need after Hurricane Harvey, Texas has made it easier for out-of-state health care providers to come and help.

The Texas Medical Board says health care workers who are licensed and in good standing in other states and who are coming to work at a hospital can practice in Texas while the governor's disaster declaration is in place. Hospitals must provide details for each provider. Physicians who are not affiliated with a hospital can apply for an expedited permit.

The Texas Board of Nursing is also issuing temporary licenses for out-of-state nurses. And the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists is doing the same for psychologists.

But state officials and others are urging practitioners not to self-deploy to the disaster area but to work through relief organizations including the Red Cross, which has issued a call for health and mental health volunteers.

The Texas Department of State Health Services also has its own disaster volunteer registry for medical, public health and lay volunteers. And FEMA is directing people to the group National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. [...]

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