The Dec. 20 article “Are we ready for the next health emergency? Uh, not so much” highlights significant threats to health described by the Trust for America’s Health’s recently released report.
However, it fails to mention the report’s recommendations.
At least one should be a ‘first 100 days’ action by the Trump administration, with Congress’ full support — putting long overdue money into the public health emergency fund established in 1999.
At the time, Congress emphasized that providing funding to cope with health threats in a rapid response is as important as providing funding to cope with natural disasters.
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Yet, no funding has been appropriated to the fund in years. As the lack of a coordinated and swift response to the Zika outbreak — and many before it — demonstrated, having resources ready to deploy is both strategic and ultimately life and cost-saving.
Federal health officials have spoken up in support of an emergency reserve. It’s a simple matter of “pay me now or pay me later.”
Stronger investments in public health and the research and understanding that make it both smart and effective are sorely needed in order for us to be well-prepared for the next health crisis.
It’s important to ask elected representatives to act without delay in the new year.
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