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What We're Reading: Clinton Proposes Emergency Fund for Public Health Crises

AJMC Staff
What we're reading, August 25, 2016: Hillary Clinton proposes fund for public health crises; hospitals that treated victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting will not bill survivors; and 1 in 4 people admit to using leftover antibiotics.
With the local transmission of the Zika virus spreading in Florida and no funds approved by Congress, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has proposed a new fund for government response to major public health crises. According to AP, the proposal is similar to bipartisan legislation that has been introduced that would release funds once a public health emergency is declared. Clinton’s Public Health Rapid Response Fund would help federal agencies and local hospital systems respond faster to health threats from potentially pandemic diseases, climate change, and possible bioterrorism.

Hospitals that treated people injured in the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting have announced they will not bill the survivors. One hospital will not bill for any treatment, while another will seek payment from insurance plans, a victims fund, and other resources, reported The Washington Post. Orlando Regional Medical Center treated 44 people and Florida Hospital treated an additional 12 survivors. Total unreimbursed costs for care could potentially top $5 million.

Nearly one-fourth of people use leftover antibiotics when they feel sick instead of contacting a medical professional. However, such self-prescribing can have negative consequences, such as contributing to the rise of superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics, according to US News & World Report. Even with doctors overprescribing antibiotics, getting a medical opinion is still better than self-medication with leftover antibiotics, experts say.

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