AAFP Joins Four Other Medical Organizations Calling on Congress to Fully Fund Response to Zika

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, May 26, 2016

Leslie Champlin
Senior Public Relations Strategist
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237, Ext. 6252

LEAWOOD, Kan. — The American Academy of Family Physicians joined three other medical organizations calling on the leaders of Congress to immediately pass legislation that would provide the greatest possible amount of funding for research, prevention, control and treatment of Zika.

Despite congressional work on the Zika issue, little progress has been made on appropriating funds that are “necessary to fully and robustly respond to the Zika virus,” the letter says. “It’s imperative that the House and Senate reach an agreement without further delay.”

Legislation to fund a national response to the Zika virus has come to a virtual standstill over the source of funding. A bill passed by the U.S. Senate would provide $1.1 billion in new money to pay for the research, vaccine development and public health response to the virus. The U.S. House bill would provide $622 million.

However, that funding should not come at the expense of other equally vital and important health initiatives, according to the letter.

“We urge, therefore, that you and all members of Congress—without delay—enact legislation that would provide the highest funding level possible that is commensurate with the seriousness of this public health threat caused by the Zika virus,” it concludes.

The AAFP joined the American College of Physicians, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Academy of Pediatrics in signing the letter. The most recent communication is among several other congressional communications about Zika. In April, the AAFP joined 67 other medical organizations to urge new emergency funding to fight the virus. A second joint letter was sent to members of the Senate on May 13.

Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Family Physicians represents 134,600 physicians and medical students nationwide, and it is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five of the total medical office visits in the United States per year – more than any other specialty. Family physicians provide comprehensive, evidence-based, and cost-effective care dedicated to improving the health of patients, families and communities. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing and personal patient-physician relationship where the family physician serves as the hub of each patient’s integrated care team. More Americans depend on family physicians than on any other medical specialty.

To learn more about the AAFP and family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. Follow us on Twitter,(twitter.com) and like us on Facebook. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org(familydoctor.org).