Improvements Needed in Availability of Health Screening and Monitoring Services for Responders : Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization, and Procurement, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House of Representatives
Six years after the attack on the World Trade Center (WTC), concerns persist about health effects experienced by WTC responders and the availability of health care services for those affected. Several federally funded programs provide screening, monitoring, or treatment services to responders. GAO has previously reported on the progress made and implementation problems faced by these WTC health programs. This testimony is based on and updates GAO's report, September 11: HHS Needs to Ensure the Availability of Health Screening and Monitoring for All Responders (GAO-07-892, July 23, 2007). In this testimony, GAO discusses the status of (1) services provided by the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) WTC Federal Responder Screening Program, (2) efforts by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to provide services for nonfederal responders residing outside the New York City (NYC) area, and (3) NIOSH's awards to WTC health program grantees for treatment services. For the July 2007 report, GAO reviewed program documents and interviewed HHS officials, grantees, and others. In August and September 2007, GAO updated selected information in preparing this testimony.