migrant and poor workers.
It is time for the adoption of universal health care for US especially
for infection diseases or else it will suffer even more.
In Malaysia, I was told that for infectious diseases, even illegal
immigrants can get free medical care. This is vital for infectious
diseases like TB.
Fatality rate in Europe and Japan is still zero so hopefully this
Swine Flue can be controlled with proper care and Malaysia is up to
Swine Flu 'Overwhelmed' U.S. Health-Care System, Report Says
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By Catherine Larkin
June 4 (Bloomberg) -- The swine flu outbreak has overwhelmed the U.S.
health-care system, a report said.
Communication between government agencies and doctors isn't well
coordinated and the World Health Organization's six-step pandemic-
alert scale causes confusion, according to an analysis released today
by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Trust for America's Health
and the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Biosecurity. Worried
citizens flood emergency rooms while undocumented immigrants and the
uninsured delay getting medical care, the report said.
The H1N1 influenza virus has spread to more than 11,000 people in the
U.S. and caused 17 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, in Atlanta. WHO is at phase 5 of its alert
scale, meaning a pandemic is imminent, even as the bug causes little
more than a fever and cough in most patients. Researchers say it is
critical to address vulnerabilities in the system before a crisis
"H1N1 is a real-world test of our initial emergency response
capabilities," said Jeff Levi, executive director of the Trust for
America's Health, a nonprofit organization in Washington, in an e-
mailed statement. "The country is significantly ahead of where we were
a few years ago. However, the outbreak also revealed serious gaps in
our nation's preparedness."
The report includes 10 recommendations for strengthening the public-
health infrastructure, including halting job cuts in state and local
health departments, providing care for uninsured Americans during an
emergency and helping health-care facilities prepare for a surge in
The work was supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation, a Princeton, New Jersey-based endowment fund that provided
$523.3 million in grants and contracts last year to support health
programs in the U.S., according to its Web site. The family of Robert
Wood Johnson started Johnson & Johnson, now the world's largest health-
care products company.
To contact the reporter on this story: Catherine Larkin in Washington
Last Updated: June 4, 2009 10:00 EDT