FSU Researchers Study U.S. Public Health Funding

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Are U.S. public health systems understaffed and insufficiently funded? That's what one FSU study finds.

The study suggests public health systems are not funded properly enough to handle bio-terrorism, pandemic diseases and natural disasters.

Jack Pittman, who oversees disaster preparedness with the Leon County Health Department, says state and federal funding for public health entities spiked following 9/11, but now that funding is on the decline.

"The money is dwindling and the flexibility that we once had to spend the money is changing so that it is becoming much more programmatic," says Pittman.

A survey of state and public health agencies throughout the U.S. finds that mean per capita spending for public health in 2004-2005 was $149, compared to $6,423 for overall health care.