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Capitol Health Call
September 9, 2009

Katrina Aftermath

JAMA. 2009;302(10):1050. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1273

Four years after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, the provision of certain health services to those affected remains a problem, concluded the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in 2 reports issued in July.

The GAO said that barriers to mental health services for children persist in greater New Orleans mostly due to a lack of transportation for patients, competing family priorities, and fear of stigmatization (http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09563.pdf). Hiring and retaining primary care clinicians also remains a challenge (http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09588.pdf). In both instances, however, federal grants are helping to address these problems.