By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
On Wednesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a number of bills, including two important health care bills–Infectious Disease Elimination Programs and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Infectious Disease Elimination Programs
The Drug Policy Alliance said Florida took a major step toward protecting the health and dignity of people who use drugs with Governor Ron DeSantis’s signature of the Infectious Disease Elimination Act, which will bring legally authorized syringe exchange programs across the state.
The act provided that a county commission may authorize a sterile needle and syringe exchange program; requiring the development of an oversight and accountability system for certain purposes; providing for immunity from civil liability, under certain circumstances, etc.
“Florida is showing tremendous leadership by allowing the expansion of syringe exchange programs, which have proven to be highly effective health interventions,” said Maria McFarland Sanchez-Moreno, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “Particularly at a time of skyrocketing overdose rates, it is critical that policymakers adopt compassionate and evidence-based policies to protect the health of people who use drugs and others.”
Syringe access programs have long been proven to significantly reduce rates of overdose deaths and preventable diseases like HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C. They also provide access to treatment and healthcare services for drug users who often face barriers to care.
Gov. DeSantis also signed HB 449: Alzheimer’s Disease, which increases membership of Alzheimer’s Disease Advisory Committee; revises representative requirements of committee; requires committee to submit annual report to specified parties that includes certain information & recommendations; requires Department of Elderly Affairs to review & update Alzheimer’s disease state plan every 3 years in collaboration with certain parties; provides requirements for plan; establishes specified memory disorder clinic; provides that certain clinics shall not receive decreased funding for specified reason.
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