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Article
April 7, 1956

RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE IN CIVIL DEFENSE

JAMA. 1956;160(14):1206-1208. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02960490020005
Abstract

• Civil defense must be accomplished, in the main, as an extension of the normal duties of various officials at all levels of government, assisted by volunteers and volunteer organizations.

The normal duties of the Public Health Service have been extended to include, as major responsibilities, (1) the planning of a national program for the protection and emergency restoration of community facilities essential for health; (2) the planning of a national program for protecting human beings against the public health hazards of modern warfare, as well as against communicable diseases of special significance during periods of stress and disorganization; and (3) the expansion of the Public Health Service commissioned reserve to provide a reservoir of trained professional personnel who could be swiftly mobilized and deployed in areas damaged by enemy attack. Its responsibilities do not include casualty care. They do include planning and program development, training, and research.

Regardless of the delegation of specific authority, a high degree of coordination is imperative. In this cooperative national effort, the entire medical profession occupies a position of vital importance.

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