Click to Translate to English Click to Translate to French  Click to Translate to Spanish  Click to Translate to German  Click to Translate to Italian  Click to Translate to Japanese  Click to Translate to Chinese Simplified  Click to Translate to Korean  Click to Translate to Arabic  Click to Translate to Russian  Click to Translate to Portuguese

Forum Home Forum Home > General Discussion > Latest News
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - $400 million to buy antiviral medicine, mobile hos
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic

$400 million to buy antiviral medicine, mobile hos

 Post Reply Post Reply
Jhetta View Drop Down
Senior Advisor Group
Senior Advisor Group

Joined: March 28 2006
Status: Offline
Points: 1272
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jhetta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: $400 million to buy antiviral medicine, mobile hos
    Posted: May 13 2006 at 7:06pm

Spending spurred by fears of bird flu

Governor proposes $400 million to buy antiviral medicine, mobile hospitals in preparation for a possible pandemic

By Sandy Kleffman

California would spend $400 million to gear up for a pandemic flu outbreak, earthquake or major flood under a budget proposal released Friday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The plan calls for buying 3.7 million treatments of antiviral medicine. Combined with existing stockpiles, that would provide enough to treat nearly 25 percent of the state's residents.

The governor also proposed buying 7,000 ventilators, double the number now available, 100 million masks to protect health-care workers, and two mobile field hospitals with 200 beds each that could be moved to hard-hit areas.

More than $160 million would be available to communities to purchase the monitoring and other equipment needed to transform cots into medical beds.

The recommendation comes amid widespread concern that the avian flu virus circulating through Southeast Asia could become a major public health crisis if it mutates enough to transmit easily among humans.

"There will be some who dismiss this proposal out-of-hand as something that isn't necessary," said Kimberly Belshé, secretary of the state Health and Human Services Agency.

"We don't know when a pandemic flu will strike, but we have to build up our capacity," she said. "The threat of a pandemic flu is real."

The governor's budget also includes $23 million to provide health insurance to 24,000 children who would otherwise be on waiting lists for county-based programs.

Some health advocates said this recommendation does not go far enough.

"It still leaves hundreds of thousands of children waiting for coverage," said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a consumer advocacy group.

To tackle chronic homelessness, the governor recommended spending up to $75 million annually in Proposition 63 funds to build more than 10,000 housing units for the homeless mentally ill and their families.

He also included $65 million to rescind a 5 percent cut in provider rates for Medi-Cal managed care plans that went into effect in 2004.

Wright and the California Medical Association said they were disappointed the governor did not increase provider rates for Medi-Cal doctors who are not part of managed care plans. The payments remain too low to cover the cost of providing care, they said, which causes many doctors to abandon the program.

Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down