San Francisco Health Chief Calls Healthy San Francisco the ‘New Way’
San Francisco Public Health Director Mitch Katz pledged to support the Healthy San Francisco program regardless of economic pressures, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
In an interview with the Chronicle, Katz said, "This is the new way" (Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/12).
Healthy San Francisco aims to ensure access to health care to all San Francisco residents.
The program relies on funding from the city, state andÂ employers and on fees from people enrolled in the program (California Healthline, 3/10).
Katz said Healthy San Francisco and the public health department will become more closely aligned over the next two to three years.
Katz said the program can continue to expand because Healthy San Francisco still is using existing health care services and is improving efficiency.
Katz's announcement coincides with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's (D) request that the public health department cut $100 million from next year's budget to help close the city's $576 million budget deficit.
The department already has:
- Laid off 300 staff members;
- Cut $5 million from substance abuse and mental health services;
- Proposed raising fees for HIV/AIDS patients; and
- Reduced nursing services for homebound patients and jail inmates.
Advocates for the poor and some medical workers say the health department cuts already are affecting the services for low-income people, including Healthy San Francisco participants.Nathan Ballard, Newsom's press secretary, said the mayor is carefully balancing the city's financial situation with his commitment to providing the best health care for low-income people (San Francisco Chronicle, 3/12). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.