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NCJ Number: 204228 Find in a Library
Title: Public Health Preparedness: Response Capacity Improving, but Much Remains to Be Accomplished
Author(s): Janet Heinrich
Corporate Author: US Government Accountability Office
United States of America
Date Published: February 12, 2004
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
US Government Accountability Office
Washington, DC 20013
US Government Accountability Office
Washington, DC 20548
Publication Number: GAO-04-458T
Sale Source: US Government Accountability Office
P.O. Box 37050
Washington, DC 20013
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: HTML
Type: Legislative Hearing/Committee Report; Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on a recent report of the U.S. General Accounting Office ("HHS Bioterrorism Preparedness Programs: States Reported Progress but Fell Short of Program Goals for 2002"), this testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Government Reform reports on an assessment of improvements in State and local preparedness for responding to major public health threats as well as Federal and State efforts to prepare for an influenza pandemic.
Abstract: The General Accounting Office (GAO) found that although States have made progress in developing many important aspects of public health preparedness since April 2003, no State is fully prepared to respond to a major public health threat. Improvements have been made in States' disease surveillance systems, laboratory capacity, communication capacity, and the personnel needed to respond to public health threats; however, gaps remain in each of these areas. Regional planning among States is lacking, and many States lack "surge" capacity, i.e., the capacity to evaluate, diagnose, and treat the large numbers of patients requiring medical service during a public health emergency. Although States are developing plans for receiving and distributing medical supplies and material for mass vaccinations from the Strategic National Stockpile in the event of a public health emergency, most of these plans are not yet finalized. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has not published the Federal influenza pandemic plan, and most of the State plans have not been finalized. In 2000 the GAO recommended that HHS complete the national plan for responding to an influenza pandemic, but HHS has reported that the plan is still under review. Absent such a Federal plan, key questions remain unanswered regarding the Federal role in the purchase, distribution, and administration of vaccines and antiviral drugs during a pandemic. HHS has indicated that most States continue to develop their State plans despite the absence of a Federal plan. 18 footnotes
Main Term(s): Domestic Preparedness
Index Term(s): Biological weapons; Chemical Weapons; Counter-terrorism tactics; Crisis intervention; Crisis management; Healthcare; Terrorist weapons
Note: Testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Government Reform; downloaded February 18, 2004.
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