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Symptoms of distress

H1N1 flu fight adds to burden of public health agencies already suffering from years of underfunding and the long-running recession

October 19, 2009
by Jessica Zigmond
Modern Healthcare

But much of the responsibility for managing the disease falls to the states, which find themselves in dire situations. Trust for America's Health reports that "preparations are taking place in the context of a public health system that has been chronically underfunded for decades."

That's because the nation's healthcare system has traditionally focused on medical care rather than on public health, says Robert Pestronk, executive director of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, or NACCHO.

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