Federal hospital emergency preparedness funding decreases

Emergency Management Alert, June 2, 2009

Many local health departments are concerned that less federal funding will lower the ability to respond appropriately to natural disasters or viral outbreaks, reports the Associated Press (AP).

Last year, at least 10,000 local and state health department jobs were lost, including jobs at laboratories used to identify diseases, according to surveys by the state and territorial group and the National Association of County and City Health Officials. The AP also reports that the federal Public Health Emergency Preparedness program has dropped funding nearly one-third since a 2006 peak, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures. States that suffered the most from the cuts include Iowa, Mississippi, Colorado, Missouri, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana. Another fund to help hospitals prepare for emergencies, the Hospital Preparedness Program, has fallen almost a quarter since 2006.


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