Industry groups criticized HHS funding cuts for pediatric graduate medical education and emergency preparedness that were released as part of HHS' fiscal 2011 operating plan, which runs through September of this year.
Groups sound off on proposed GME budget cuts
Pediatric GME funding through the Health Resources and Services Administration took a hit of $48.5 million, or 15%, versus fiscal 2010 levels, falling to $268.4 million. "We're looking at a shortage in primary-care doctors and that's who pediatricians are and this would only make that worse," said Richard Pollack, executive vice president for advocacy and public policy at the American Hospital Association. The cuts also were slammed by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the National Association of Children's Hospitals, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Board of Pediatrics.
Meanwhile, public-health preparedness and response capability funding decreased by $102.3 million, or 11%, to $824.4 million as part of the spending plan for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "These cuts undermine communities nationwide and the local health departments that serve them," said Robert Pestronk, executive director of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, in a news release. "Without sustained preparedness funding, continued progress is unreliable and the risk of being caught off guard increases," Pestronk said.
The spending plans follow the budget agreement reached last month in which federal agencies were given overall budget targets and instructions to make specific recommendations as to how to meet them, said Tannaz Rasouli, senior legislative analyst for the AAMC.
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