Improving US Public Health Care

Eye on New York:

Over $971 million has been awarded by America’s Department of Health and Human Services in an effort to enhance treatment and potentially eliminate a whole slew of public health threats.  This money will be distributed throughout each state, eight American territories, and four large metropolitan areas.   Included in this amount is over $30 million which will be designated specifically towards health care and public health preparedness in the New York region.

Around $352 million of this overall sum has been given to the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) cooperative agreement. Of that, $12,036,626 has been awarded to New York. From the close to $620 million designated to the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) cooperative agreement, $19,926,605, has been set aside for New York.

America’s Obesity Issue

Truthfully, one way of doing this is through preventive medicine and by averting disaster where possible. In other words – focusing on the obesity issue (incredibly prevalent throughout the United States of America) – losing weight and getting in shape.  As noted in a recent post, Mayor Bloomberg has been working on this for a while now.  The better shape people are in, the less medical care they will require.  It is likely that this was one of the reasons The Campaign to End Obesity was established, following its finding that the nation spends a staggering $168 billion in medical costs per annum on obesity-related healthcare.

Coping with Hazards

So that is at least something – in theory – that can be worked on.  The issue of hazards and emergencies is much harder to control and thus it seems justifiable that significant sums are now being poured into this.  Indeed, according to the assistant secretary for preparedness and response of the Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Nicole Lurie, “having systems in place to provide better treatment for disaster survivors and improved public health for our communities also leads to better health outcomes on a day-to-day basis.”

Ultimately what needs to happen in New York’s health care industry – and indeed throughout the entire world – is for less money to be poured into issues that are within our control potentially (such as obesity) so that more can be designated for natural disasters and the like that we simply cannot control.