The recently announced $7 billion response plan to a potential bird flu pandemic from President Bush includes a number of information technology components including a global network of surveillance and preparedness intended to quickly detect and respond to disease outbreaks. To date, 88 countries and nine international organizations have joined this effort.
Bush also called for $538 million for pandemic preparedness. Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt will be charged with bringing together state and local officials for the development of community-based flu-response plans and exercises.
To inform the public of White House efforts, Bush announced a Web site that includes general information, as well as data on monitoring outbreaks, planning and response, travel and transportation issues, and research activities.
The Senate recently approved flu pandemic preparedness spending as part of a fiscal 2006 spending bill. Of the $8 billion proposed for the effort, $750 million would go toward hospital preparedness and health information technology networks, $60 million would be spent on increased global surveillance, and $75 million would be for communications and outreach in the event of an emergency.
Read the full story from theNational Journal’s Technology Daily