AMA moves to remove politics from public health decisions, empower health officials

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Decrying "the politicization of public health measures, such as masking and vaccination," designed to "protect the public from serious illness, injury, and death," a special Nov. 15 meeting of the American Medical Association's house of delegates adopted a new policy goal of strengthening U.S governmental public health infrastructure.

The move was sparked by the pandemic's exposure of the urgent need "to ensure public health agencies have the authority to implement evidence-based measures necessary to keep the population safe from disease and save lives," AMA board member Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, said in a news release.

The association said it will push for policies providing "consistent, sustainable funding to support public health infrastructure, incentives—including loan forgiveness and debt reduction—to help recruit and retain staff within the governmental public health workforce, public health data modernization and efforts to promote interoperability between health care and public health systems, and efforts to ensure equitable access to public health funding and programs. "

The policy recommendation was made after the release of a report that identified major challenges in the U.S. public health infrastructure by experts in the field.

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