Together, we can do better:
For the good of all, Georgia must rebuild its public health system
Georgia’s public health system has protected and improved the lives of Georgians since the General Assembly created the first Board of Health in 1875. But today public health is threatened as never before by the adverse effects of the recession on top of years of deep budget cuts.
Health needs in Georgia exceed those of most states, yet we spend less than $20 per person per year – about a nickel a day – and rank near the bottom in state support for public health. Despite a growing need for services caused by high unemployment and falling incomes, more than 1,000 of the public health positions across the state are vacant… salaries are low and turnover is high… and prevention programs that can pay for themselves have been cut or are in jeopardy.
Whether conservative or liberal… urban or rural… rich or poor… all Georgians have a stake in public health because it can save lives and money. Re-investing in and rebuilding our public health system will help stretch the state’s budget in the long term by heading off high-cost treatments for chronic conditions that worsen when untreated. It also will enhance state revenue by keeping tax-paying bread winners in the workforce and encouraging business development.
Together, we can do better… and we must.
WHAT IS PARTNER UP! FOR PUBLIC HEALTH?
Partner Up! for Public Health is a statewide advocacy campaign funded by Healthcare Georgia Foundation and designed to advance public health in Georgia. The campaign was launched in October 2009 as part of a multifaceted effort to rebuild a public health system that has been decimated by budget cuts in recent years.