There’s quite a few infectious disease-related legislative proposals floating around Congress, so I’m going to start previewing them. I’ll start with an easy one: H.R. 766, which calls for a National Infection Prevention Week (pdf here).
It’s sponsored by Rep. Roger F. Wicker (R-MS) and Rep. Tim Murphy (D-PA) and has been referred to the Subcommittee on Health of the Energy and Commerce Committee in the House of Representatives (hence, the “HR”). Here’s the entire text of the bill (it’s short):
Whereas protecting the health of Americans includes providing every citizen with access to safe and effective health care;
Whereas Infection Prevention and Control Professionals are devoted to patient and health care worker safety and are committed to reducing the risk and occurrence of healthcare-associated infections;
Whereas the prevention of healthcare-associated infections is instrumental in achieving this goal;
Whereas every year, more than 800,000,000 Americans visit their physicians and over 33,000,000 are admitted to hospitals, with many undergoing medical procedures that have a risk of infectious complications;
Whereas healthcare-associated infections increase morbidity and mortality and add a significant financial burden to the cost of health care; Whereas there is need for a public awareness campaign to help Infection Control Professionals make health care professionals and the general public aware of the importance of preventing healthcare-associated infections, thereby reducing the burden of human suffering and disease; and
Whereas the third week of October 2008, would be an appropriate week to observe National Infection Prevention Week: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives–
(1) supports the goals and ideals of National Infection Prevention Week;
(2) calls upon the people of the United States
to observe the week with appropriate programs and activities; and
(3) supports raising awareness of the importance of preventing healthcare-associated infections.
And you thought my writing sucked. If you made it this far, you probably realized that this bill simply calls for a week that focuses on the importance of preventing infections. I’m not sure it will solve any problems, but it certainly can’t hurt, and it doesn’t really cost anything. The Mad Biologist gives it a thumbs up.
The next bit of legislation will be a bit harder; consider this a warmup….