The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) says it is alarmed by the continuing resolution passed by the House of Representatives’ that would initiate a series of cuts to the Prevention and Public Health Fund in FY2021. These funding reductions would result in a net cut of $2.85 billion by 2027.
“In Congress’s urgency to avoid another government shutdown, they could compromise vital infectious diseases outbreak programs and ultimately place Americans’ lives at risk,” said Keith Kaye, MD, MPH, president of SHEA. “Infectious diseases prevention programs made possible by the Prevention and Public Health Fund have made great strides in keeping the public safe. Uncertainty over the sustainability and availability of funds for these programs could have serious ramifications.”
The Prevention and Public Health Fund is responsible for numerous imperative infectious diseases outbreak prevention programs implemented at the national and local levels, including those that address planned for and unanticipated infectious diseases threats. In fact, this Fund supports approximately 12 percent of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s budget. On a local level, the Fund supports public health departments around the country in their state healthcare-association infection prevention programs and antibiotic stewardship programs. For many states, these cuts jeopardize the most basic infrastructure for these programs.
Defunding the Prevention and Public Health Fund would severely hamper our nation’s ability to combat preventable healthcare-associated infections and respond to infectious diseases outbreaks. SHEA urges Congress to preserve the Prevention and Public Health Fund as it continues to work towards a more permanent solution to government funding.
Source: Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA)