Washington public health struggling due to lack of funding
Local health districts across Washington state are struggling for funding.
Since 2000, Washington’s population has grown by least one million people.
However, as that number rises, funding has decreased 40 percent.
The Benton Franklin Health District is better off than many over smaller districts across the state, but still they are suffering.
“Some of our health districts are getting to the point where, their funding is such that they cannot provide the essential services,” said Rick Dawson with the BFHD. “We’ve kind of reached a critical mass where some health district may cease to exist.”
“To make it better for us, having some dedicated foundational funding sources to deal with our infrastructure and public health, will allow us to use the funding that we are using for those resources now and allocate them to really address the needs of the community,” said Carla Prock with the BFHD.
The BFHD used to have staff dedicated to educating locals schools, but without funding, it now sends health professionals who have to do it themselves on top of their duties.
The health district has also had to cut many programs.
Right now a House Bill 1432 is awaiting a hearing, it would give needed money to health districts across the state.