CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Gov. Maggie Hassan has created a commission to study New Hampshire’s shortage of health care workers.

The Democrat says the shortage “increasingly threatens” the state’s ability to care for its citizens and limits health care choices. Her office says the state is facing a shortage of doctors, nurses, mental health workers, substance abuse counselors, psychiatrists and home-care providers. An executive order creating the commission doesn’t offer details on the shortages in each profession.

The panel will look at recruitment and training, rules and payment around home health care services and other issues related to the workforce.

Hassan’s office says the health department has been examining the issue and will work with the commission, which will report its findings in December.

Dr. Susan Huard, the president of Manchester Community College, will serve as chair. Other members include representatives from AARP, the New Hampshire Hospital Association, the New Hampshire Nurses’ Association, the state’s health department and other groups.

Access to affordable health care services has been a critical issue in New Hampshire in recent years, as the state battles an opioid addiction crisis and works to improve mental health services as part of a lawsuit with the federal government. During last year’s budget battle, home health workers were fighting for rate increases.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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