Pediatric education funding slashed 15%; groups cry foul
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. Pediatric GME funding through the Health Resources and Services Administration took a hit of $48.5 million, or 15%, vs. 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, publichealth 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,” Robert Pestronk, executive director of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, said in a news release.