HEALTH DEPARTMENT: CRITICALLY EXAMINE THE ALLOCATION OF FINANCIAL RESOURCES BETWEEN TREATMENT & PREVENTION

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HEALTH DEPARTMENT:
CRITICALLY EXAMINE THE ALLOCATION OF
FINANCIAL RESOURCES BETWEEN TREATMENT & PREVENTION

 

Problem Identification:
The still unmet need for treatment-related public health services dominates the distribution of scarce financial resources thereby diminishing financial support of prevention activities.

Recommended Action:
Evaluate the Department’s allocation of financial resources between treatment and prevention-related activities and make strategic decisions to achieve the appropriate ratio to provide maximum public health outcomes.

Classification:
Organizational, Service Improvement

Functional/Operational Area:
All Departmental Operations

Estimated Annual Impact:
Cannot be Estimated

Estimated Implementation Cost:
None

Barriers to Implementation:
None

Projected Implementation:
Ongoing

Next Steps:
As part of its regular planning and public reporting processes, the Department should continually evaluate and disclose the allocation of financial resources between treatment and prevention-related activities. This information should be utilized by policymakers in making decisions about the allocation of public resources.

Analysis:
The allocation of scarce budgetary resources between treatment and prevention-related activities is a policy-level decision most appropriately made by the City’s elected officials in conjunction with public health professionals. Through the course of the project team’s work, however, a tendency was observed to overwhelmingly favor the funding of treatment activities, thus diminishing the number and scope of prevention initiatives. For example, the Baltimore Substance Abuse System (BSAS) utilizes a $30 million annual budget to provide drug treatment and prevention services to the estimated 60,000 substance abusers in Baltimore City. BSAS spends approximately 89 percent of its annual budget on drug treatment programs, while just slightly more than 2 percent is used to provide drug use prevention services.