SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A growing number of counties have enough hospital beds but not enough people to staff them. Instead of using the California Health Corps for local emergency staffing, the state is tapping federal medical teams to help.

This has many wondering why hospitals are using federal resources and not the California Health Corps, which were created just for this reason.

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The short answer is: the state needs more active Health Corps staff. CBS13 confirmed Friday the state is in the process of reaching out to another 4,000+ people who were approved but never signed up for shifts.

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The state says approximately 37,000 people who registered for the Health Corps did have valid licenses, but records show many were specialized, including podiatrists, dental hygienists, and nearly 1,000 veterinarians.

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In all, only about 10,000 people officially applied for the Health Corps, and 4,923 were approved for deployment.  But so far, only 847 people have actually been hired. That’s just one out of six of those who qualified for deployment.

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The state says it’s now reaching out to the remaining 4,000+ qualified applicants and they say they are continuing new recruitment.

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So far, the Health Corps has been deployed in more than a dozen counties. Records indicate the majority were deployed to nursing homes and skilled care facilities.

Julie Watts