On March 13, 2023, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) submitted formal comments in response to a Congressional request for information for the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA), a landmark law directed at improving “the Nation's public health and medical preparedness and response capabilities for emergencies.” The law is scheduled to be re-authorized this year. As part of its recommendations, ASA advocated for regular assessments of the Strategic National Stockpile with greater opportunities for medical society feedback; better coordination of regional health systems during emergencies and management of surge capacity; and initiatives to encourage information sharing among medical personnel, researchers, government agencies, and other stakeholders.
ASA’s letter was issued in response to a request from Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), both members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The RFI aimed to gather input on potential PAHPA revisions to improve the coordinated government response to future public health hazards and emergencies.
PAHPA’s authority under law includes the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR), which leads the national government response to public health emergencies and hazards as well as the National Health Security Strategy, a response plan that is updated every four years. ASA’s comments on PAHPA also recommended that Congress authorize advisory committees under ASPR to address the needs of rural communities and populations with co-morbidities during public health hazards. ASA also urged Congress to maintain investments in technology and advanced research that could aid stakeholder response to future pandemics and other emergencies.
Click here to read ASA’s full comment letter.
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Date of last update: March 16, 2023