State lawmakers found many of their questions unanswered – like how much money the state has to fund emergency plans or who’s in charge of directing them.
Many health care providers are also confused. Cheri Hummel is with the California Hospital Association. She says hospitals around the state are unclear about antiviral supplies, like Tamiflu, to treat the virus.
“We got numerous calls about we don’t have Tamiflu, we can’t get Tamiflu, we can’t get it from local pharmacies or manufacturers. This is not a new issue for the state, this is a gap in the plan.”
Community health clinics – that treat the poor and uninsured – are reporting they don’t have enough masks to help protect workers against the flu. And, state officials testified that looming budget cuts to labs and public health staff could also make it harder for the state to respond to a flu pandemic.