Case Management

U.S. flu pandemic plans inadequate, say public health experts

Case Management Weekly, February 5, 2008

The threat of a global flu pandemic and the potential strain placed on the country's healthcare resources by millions of seriously-ill Americans has long worried public health experts. Now, many local public health and hospital officials are warning that the government's pandemic flu preparations are still woefully inadequate.

According to a recent article in The Washington Post, too much of the cost and responsibility of preparing for a pandemic has been left to local healthcare systems, which are already stretched to breaking point under normal circumstances and lack the resources for dealing with a public health emergency.

The federal government argues it has allocated millions of dollars in preparedness grants, stockpiled antiviral drugs, and encouraged resource-sharing planning by local healthcare systems, although Health and Human Service Secretary Mike Leavitt did admit there is much still to be done and that a pandemic could easily overwhelm the healthcare system.

Source: The Washington Post

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