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Recession hitting nation's emergency preparedness abilities

January 4, 2012
by Carolyne Krupa
American Medical News

 

The country has made significant strides since the 2001 terrorist attacks in the ability of physicians, hospitals, health departments and others to respond to disasters. But that progress is being undermined by government budget cuts, says a report looking at America's preparedness for public health emergencies.

That is the conclusion of the ninth annual report, released Dec. 20, 2011, by Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, focusing on the potential consequences of looming budget cuts at the federal, state and local levels. The report said those cuts threaten to unravel a decade's worth of progress made bolstering the nation's ability to respond to bioterrorist attacks, disease outbreaks or other disasters.

"The economic crisis has changed the story," said Jeffrey Levi, PhD, executive director of the Trust for America's Health. "The Great Recession is taking its toll on emergency preparedness."

 

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