Author Affiliations: National Center for Trauma & Emergency Medicine Research, The Gertner Institute for Health Policy & Epidemiology, Tel-Hashomer, Israel and Disaster Medicine Department, School of Public Health, Tel-Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel (Dr Peleg); and the Department of Emergency Medicine, Emory School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia (Dr Kellermann).
Two days after the 2008 presidential election, the Government Accountability Office identified 13 “urgent issues” President-elect Obama and the 111th Congress should address during the transition period and first year of the new administration. One of the issues, preparing for large-scale health emergencies, is particularly relevant to the US health care system. The Government Accountability Office posted on its Web site the following statement:
Many states have used the [US Department of Health and Human Services] hospital preparedness funds in their efforts to improve the surge capacity of the nation's health care systems . . . Federal agencies, however, continue to face challenges in working with one another and with state and local governments, private organizations, and international partners to [among other things] . . . marshal the resources required for an effective public health response, such as developing health system surge capacity to handle large numbers of casualties.1
Peleg K, Kellermann AL. Enhancing Hospital Surge Capacity for Mass Casualty Events. JAMA. 2009;302(5):565–567. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1119
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