The Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act help the United States improve its ability to prevent, be prepared for, and respond to bioterrorism and other health emergencies. According to Combs (2003), there are three facets of security, namely, physical, personnel, and operational. The paper discusses the facets of security, as well as the corresponding provisions.
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The three facets of security identified by Combs
There are three facets of the security system (Combs, 2003).
The first one involves physical security as part of a security system. This process ensures that the intended target is under surveillance and, therefore, a terrorist attack will be deterred. A good example here is enhancing security along the country borders to prevent terrorists from entering the country (Combs, 2003).
The second facet entails operational security. This means that the security system protects the reliability of all the facilities and activities, thereby denying terrorists any sort of opportunity to collect relevant information that may be of use in a terrorist attack. A good example of this facet is protecting certain facilities that may be of interest to terrorists, such as transport systems and communication lines. This blocks access to the targeted areas (Combs, 2003).
The third facet is about personnel security, which means that the security system should provide quality and timely training for personnel in order to provide full information on responsibilities and possible risks. Health care training are part and parcel of this facet. (Combs, 2003).
Six provisions contained in the Act that correspond to the facets of security discussed by Combs
There are six provisions related to the security facets mentioned in the Act.
Education and training of health care personnel are one of them. The Act obliges the secretariat together with professional organizations and interagency groups to offer grants to health officials who will be responsible for writing the teaching materials for health emergency personnel as well as the materials for bio-weapons identification. Trained personnel will take care of vulnerable and special groups, as well as of victims of public health emergencies. In addition, the provision encourages development of educational materials for communities to respond to bioterrorism in efficient way (Combs, 2003).
National pharmaceutical stockpile is another provision. This provision obliges to maintain supplies of medical devices, vaccines and drugs. This helps in meeting the country’s health security necessities after a bioterrorist attack or a health emergency (Combs, 2003).
Grants to address the health professional shortages are one of the provisions. This involves establishment of grant programs that provide finances for training and education. It is crucial for the health care sector because it helps improve emergency readiness in public health emergencies (Combs, 2003).
Department of veteran Affairs involves the secretary to improve the readiness of veteran affairs research extension facilities, and medical centers in order to respond to biological and chemical attacks. Usually, this depends on the evaluation of security requirements for the facilities (Combs, 2003).
State public emergency announcements obliges the states to have a plan to provide an organized public communications response. This helps submit federal funds that are directed at assistance as well as administrative and preparation costs refund for personnel (Combs, 2003).
Health professional volunteers provision recommends the secretariat create a database to be able to register health professionals. This helps in the verification of their license credentials and hospital privileges in case they volunteer to assist in a public health emergency situation (Combs, 2003).
To sum up, the provisions of the discussed Act work hand in hand with the security facets. They help prevent and control occurrence and frequency of bioterrorism and other health security issues. Moreover, it ensures that information, infrastructure facilities are protected and the personnel is trained to address such emergencies.
The paper discussed physical, operational and personnel facets of security. In addition, provisions of the Health Act include education and training of health care personnel, state public emergency announcements, national pharmaceutical supplies, grants to address health professional training, professional volunteers and department of veteran affairs. These provisions guarantee security of the nation as well as provide basis of sustainable healthcare in emergency situations.
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Combs, C. C. (2003).Terrorism in the 21st Century, (3d ed.), Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.