An underfunded workforce and lack of basic tools were some of the findings of the investigation into the nation’s public health infrastructure during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kaiser Family Foundation and the Associated Press teamed up for the investigation which sought to understand the economic and other threats the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed on the nation’s public health infrastructure.
As announced in a news release:
Among the key findings in the series’s first story, “Hollowed-Out Public Health System Faces More Cuts Amid Virus”:
- Since 2010, spending on state health departments has dropped by 16% per capita, and in local health departments by 18%, in 2019 dollars after adjusting for inflation, according to the KHN and AP analysis.
- At least 38,000 state and local public health jobs have been eliminated since the Great Recession in 2008, leaving an inadequate workforce in what was viewed in the mid-20th century as one of the world’s best public health systems.
- At least 14 states have already cut or are actively considering cuts to health department budgets or positions. States, cities and counties, facing declining revenues amid the economic downturn, are laying off and furloughing the already limited staff.
For more information:
KFF’s Kaiser Health News (KHN), AP Investigate the State of the Nation’s Public Health Infrastructure as It Confronts the Challenge of the COVID-19 Pandemic (Kaiser Family Foundation Health News)