America has come a long way in emergency preparedness since the terrorist attacks of 2001. But one of the men behind an annual report called “Ready or Not” suggests the federal and state governments are now going in the wrong direction. Rich Hamburg, deputy director of the Trust for America’s Health, says the report indicates most states are spending less on preparing for public health emergencies.
[audioHEALTHSURVEY1.mp3]Click here for summary[/audio]
“After the pandemic flu outbreak, we saw billions of dollars invested by the federal government, which was money that was much needed,” says Hamburg. “Same with Hurricane Katrina and other public health emergencies. But what we really need is year-to-year, ongoing funding. Preparedness – prevention – is a much more important investment than simply reacting to an emergency.”