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Ryploc health care system
00 poor shape, report says
The Daily Tar HeelMondayptemb6r 12, 19883
from page 1
"A rising tide does not lift boats
with holes," Autry said. "If we are
going to keep from creating an
alienated underclass, we have to
repair those holes."
Johnson said North Carolina and
make the necessary investments in its ested in vocational training, he said.
By Michael spirtas
The public health care system,
which has served the nation since the
19tK century, is in a severe state of
decline, according to a National
Academy of Sciences report released Carolina, he said,
recently. divorce" between
as negatively affected by the decline
as have other states, according to Ron
Levine, director of the Division of.
Public Health of the N.C. Depart
ment of Human Resources. -Part
of the problem for North,
is the partial
To correct it, a state cabinet-level agencies and health programs.
position should be created, state and Levine said leaving environmental
local authorities said last week. problems such as air pollution and
"People must realize that we have radiation up to agencies similar to the
lost a valuable resource," said Joseph Environmental Protection Agency,
Boyle, executive vice president of the which abound in North Carolina, has
American Society of Internal Med- jeopardized the condition of public
and former president of the health. .
American Medical Association.
Lately, "the public health commun
ity (has fallen) out of the public eye,"
said Bailus Walker Jr., president of
the. American Public Health Associ
ation and a professor of environmen
tal health and toxicology at New
York State University in Albany.
The separation between environ
mental protection and health has
damaged public health by the "loss
of a scientific basis for the health
service" and a "loss of credibility
among the public," he said.
But the situation may be helped
by such suggestions as the one to
New responsibilities in the areas of create a cabinet-level position to head
mental health and drug abuse have the state's public health efforts, he
been passed on to other agencies, he said. That proposal will face the N.C.
said, leading to the deterioration of General Assembly in 1989.
the'.system. "It's a brilliant proposal," said
As a remedy, Walker said the Michel Ibrahim, dean of UNC's
federal government should increase School of Public Health,
funding to poorer states. He also He added that the state also needs
stressed the need for strong leadership increased public health care funding,
at the state and local levels. Another example of the decline in
Boyle agreed, saying the first the system is the national response
responsibility of public health lies to AIDS, Walker said, because while
with the state health department.
But North Carolina has not been
some communities are handling the
issue well, others have failed to 4
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touted their low wages to lure
companies, but that strategy is no
address the problem.
"The service delivery system (at a
local level) is weak," he said. ' -
But Levine said he was proud of longer feasible. V
North Carolina's response to the If we compete on low wages, we
problem. ' loose out," Johnson continued. "The
"We're using a multifocal attack," jobs are exported to places with even
said John Cutler,, ah epidemiologist cheaper labor costs."
with the Department of Human Autry added that improving edu-
Resources. Cutler said the state is cation was imperative to remaining
addressing the problem by educating competitive in a global economy,
citizens about AIDS and by using a "Every year,' economic growth and
surveillance system to trace the sexual education correlate closer and
Dartners of those known to carry the closer," Autry said. "The most
"We have to understand that
investing in good schools and medical
care is not just a social investment,"
he said ."It's sound economic policy.
the rest of the South traditionally had Unhealthy, ill-educated workers will
not give us the competitive edge.
If elected,! Jordan would also
restructure the state's Department of
Commerce to focus economic devel-.
opment efforts more toward small
businesses, Wells said.
"The emphasis in the past has been
'the great buffalo hunt,' i.e., having
disturbing, if you are looking ahead working with employers to cut the
Lt. Gov. Bob Jordan, Democratic . manufacturing companies come in,'
gubernatorial candidate, repeatedly he added. "But the trend is there are
stresses the need for better paying so few buffaloes to hunt. We need
jobs, according to Phil Wells, Jor- growth from within."
dan's campaign press secretary. . 1 To help establish new businesses,
"There is no overnight solution," Wells said Jordan would create a joint
Wells said. "But there is one great public-private "21st Century Fund."
one education." The fund would also help women and
Jordan's platform includes a "com- minorities gain ground in North
prehensive plan" for drop-out prev
ention, Wells said. The plan includes
more counseling for at-nsk students,
In other states, such as California, to the year 2000, is (the state's) drop-
surveillance programs like the one in
North Carolina have been attacked
by homosexual and civil liberties
groups as imposing on the rights of
AIDS victims. But Levine said North
Carolina's system operates "in a
professional and compassionate
manner," and works to the benefit
of those involved.
About one-third of North Caro
lina's youth drop out of high school
every year, he said. Japan, with 95
million people, has fewer functional
illiterates than North Carolina with
about six million people, he said.
Johnson said high drop-out rates
reflect North Carolina's failure to
hours of teen-age labor and to
establish a "Tech-Prep" curriculum in
the high schools for students inter-
r Martin's strategy has been to
attract businesses; which will Build
the tax base and improve the state's
infrastructure, according to Tim
Pittman, Martin's campaign press
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