AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — A lack of workers who are often on the front lines are pushing state lawmakers to address a health care workforce shortage in Georgia.

“Demand for health care workers is still high,” Dr. Divisha Sharma, first-year fellow in infectious diseases at the Medical College of Georgia said.

Dr. Divisha Sharma said the shortage it is not only taking a toll on healthcare providers, but on patients and their care.

“Sometimes the only way for them to be seen when they’re borderline sick is to show up to the emergency room. Emergency room costs can be very high and hospitalization rates and costs are not affordable,” Sharma said.

The GA-STRONG proposal, backed by state lawmakers would make funding available to help teaching hospitals like AU hire, train, and retain more health care workers.

“That funding could go into more residencies. That means more medical students will be able to match as residents in the same medical area as doctors,” Sharma said.

Some doctors said it could also mean having more specialists to take care of patients.

“We need specialists to take care of these patients and run around the hospitals taking care of big lists. We do need more hands on deck, so this will improve specialty care and will open up more seats and more funding for training.”

The bipartisan push still needs approval before moving forward.