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American College of Physicians: The healthcare response to pandemic influenza/avian flu

"The Health Care Response to Pandemic Influenza," a new policy paper from the American College of Physicians (ACP), that supports the U.S. Government's foresight in developing a national strategic response plan, will be presented at the American College of Physicians (ACP) Annual Session, April 6-8, in Philadelphia. The paper critiques the national preparedness plan and aims to boost the efforts of state and local leadership in addressing the threat of pandemic influenza, including avian flu, to public health.

ACP, the nation's largest medical specialty society, will release its stance on developing a comprehensive and effective health care response that is critical to save lives, decrease illness, and avoid disruption to the economy. In order to achieve these goals, ACP believes that physicians in all health care settings, and particularly primary care physicians in non-hospital settings, must be fully integrated into the response plans.

ACP recommends that internists, who as primary care physicians represent the backbone of the healthcare system, play a critical role in the planning and strategy for addressing pandemic influenza or other public health crisis. Hands-on clinical training of internists should be implemented to address a public health crisis, such as pandemic influenza, ACP says.

A pandemic, ACP warns, will place extraordinary and sustained demands on the U.S. health care system. It will require all non-hospital-based health care providers, internists and family practice providers in particular, to be prepared to counsel, diagnose, treat and monitor patients outside of hospital settings in order to decrease the likelihood of surges that would overwhelm hospital capacity.

ACP supports strengthening public health emergency preparedness efforts through a number of practical recommendations.

Press Briefing - Friday, April 7, 2006 from 10:30 AM to 11:15 AM

A press briefing will be held at the ACP Annual
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Contact: Lynda Teer
lteer@acponline.org
215-351-2655
American College of Physicians
31-Mar-2006


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