Views on the Administration's Fiscal Year 1989 Public Health Service Budget

HRD-88-104BR: Published: Jun 2, 1988. Publicly Released: Jul 8, 1988.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Public Health Service's (PHS) proposed fiscal year (FY) 1989 budget for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) programs, focusing on the: (1) adequacy of the proposed budget; and (2) appropriateness of the proposed allocation of funds among various activities.

GAO noted that the proposed PHS budget included: (1) $588 million for biomedical research for a vaccine, cure, or improved treatment; (2) $400 million for public health control measures to educate the public; (3) $229 million for epidemiological studies and surveillance to understand and track the spread of AIDS; and (4) $68 million to provide health services to AIDS patients and substance abuse treatment for intravenous drug users. GAO found that the experts it interviewed: (1) believed that Congress should appropriate more funds for public health services in FY 1989; (2) proposed funding increases over the administration's $1.3 billion budget request ranging from $1.5 billion to $2.3 billion; and (3) believed that Congress should authorize more funds for controlling human immunodeficiency virus infection among intravenous drug users, educating high-risk groups, and providing patient care. GAO also found that: (1) state and local officials indicated that budget constraints could limit their biomedical research resources; (2) AIDS experts and federal officials believed that PHS staff shortages could adversely affect AIDS program management; and (3) AIDS experts believed that more effort should be devoted to health services research on cost effective methods for financing and delivering care.

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