RealNews

California Vulnerable to Outbreak

Agency’s findings show that the state’s medical facilities aren’t equipped to handle commonplace diseases or major bioterrorism attacks. While attempting to gauge California’s readiness to deal with a bioterrorism attack, an independent oversight agency has found that the state’s basic public health system is so disjointed and neglected that residents are just as seriously threatened by an epidemic of commonplace diseases such as the flu. In a report scheduled for release next month, the state’s Little Hoover Commission describes a 30-year erosion of a health system that has left Californians vulnerable to disease outbreaks, new germ strains, hospital-acquired infections and widespread poisoning. Government officials and private experts interviewed by the independent agency over the past year testified that the network for tracking disease and treating mass illness or injury has “deteriorated to the point that lives are at risk,” according to the draft report, a copy of which was obtained by The Times. That deterioration, it said, partly reflects a shortage of money, but also is the result of unfocused state agencies and a lack of centralized leadership in the health-care system. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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