Interventions to Mitigate the Reduced Ability and Willingness to Work of Health Care Workers During a Pandemic Influenza Public Health Emergency

Several widely publicized articles were released in the past two years which suggest that health care and public health employees may be unable or unwilling to report to work during a public health emergency involving contagion or contamination such as pandemic influenza, SARS, smallpox, or a terrorist attack using disease or radiation: A 2006 study of public health department workers, only 54% of those surveyed indicated that they would “likely report to work” during a pandemic influenza outbreak. In 2005 a national survey of pre-hospital care workers indicated that only 65% of EMTs were willing to report for duty during a smallpox outbreak. Also in 2005, only 48% of health care workers in the greater New York City area reported that they were “willing to work” during a widespread outbreak of SARS-like illness. Although a recurrence of pandemic influenza is inevitable, it was not until recently that there has been a very public acknowledgement of the impact it will potentially place upon society in terms of the delivery of medical care.

Workforce Readiness
Disaster Response
Disaster Preparedness
Pandemic Flu