ICF Releases Report on Critical Health Risks Faced Across the San Diego-Baja California Border Region

Needs Assessment

On June 30th, ICF released "Shared Destiny: Shaping a Binational Agenda for Health Priorities in the San Diego-Baja California Border Region" a report that seeks to engage civic leaders and elected officials about the need for urgent action in addressing critical health risks faced across the San Diego-Baja California border region.

With funding from the California Endowment and co-authored by Robert Bach, Ph.D., and Richard Kiy, ICF president, the report is a call for action to raise the scale of investment and program engagement to respond to the rising rates of infectious diseases,such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, chronic ailments and, most urgently, the risk of bioterrorism, food contamination and other sources of transnational illness.

Health

The report observes that as the binational region becomes even more integrated through crossborder economic partnerships, commercial exchange, travel and two-way migration, public health programs that work only on one side of the border are increasingly unable to respond to cross-border health risks. According to the report, what is critically needed is an expanded emphasis on cross-border health programs and initiatives that respond to the growing public health challenges faced in the San Diego-Baja California border region now the largest binational metroplex in North America.

The report offers a strategic agenda for improving the quality of cross-border health through regulatory reform, and other public-private partnership initiatives, including:

  • The prospect of Medicare accessibility for American retirees in Mexico
  • Improvements in the use of technology, particularly tele-medicine
  • Expansion of cross-border health services
  • Formalization of cross-border anti-trafficking teams
  • Re-designing disease-specific programs; and
  • Moving beyond crisis to prevention so as to expand the financing of cross-border health services.

The report also calls for a regional health summit to engage private, public and non-governmental leaders to work together to address otherwise irresolvable cross-border health care challenges facing the binational region. The report is available in English and Spanish languages at http://www.icfdn.org/shared-destiny/index.htm.

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