Resolution: 16-03

Supporting Increased Autonomy and Fiscal Authority for the Health Commission and Department of Public Health, Supporting the Concept of Stable, Predictable and Adequate Funding for Health Services, and Urging Modifications and Enhancements to the Proposed Health Department Charter Amendment

WHEREAS, Supervisor Chris Daly has proposed a Charter Amendment regarding the Department of Public Health; and,

WHEREAS, the proposed Charter Amendment increases the autonomy and fiscal authority of the Health Commission; establishes stable baseline funding for the Department of Public Health; streamlines administration and contracting; ensures the continued operation of county hospitals, clinics and programs for the chronically ill; designates universal healthcare as a top goal; coordinates trauma care; centralizes funding for housing and urban health services; affirms the Cityís commitment to environmental justice and health and the continued viability of the Environmental Health section; guarantees culturally competent care through community-based clinics, ensures the continued operation of services and care provided by the Mental Health Rehabilitation Facility and reduces wait times for behavioral health services; creates a goal of pay equity between non-profit contract employees and Department workers performing similar work; and requires a biennial independent audit of Department operations by an outside auditor; and,

WHEREAS, the Health Commission applauds the goal of the Charter Amendment to increase authority and autonomy of the Department of Health and the Health Commission and to ensure the continued provision of high-quality health services and programs; and,

WHEREAS, the Health Commission applauds the concept of further broadening representation on the Health Commission, but is concerned that having designated seats will result in appointees representing specific sectors rather than working on behalf of the entire Health Department; and,

WHEREAS, the Health Commission supports a predictable, stable and adequate base of funding for the Health Department, and wants to ensure that this base includes adequate funding for services that in the past have been under funded, such as forensics; and,

WHEREAS, the Health Commission is proud of the Departmentís extensive and successful services to the medically needy homeless population; however, the provision of the entire array of City services to homeless individuals exceeds the Health Departmentís expertise; and,

WHEREAS, the Health Commission strongly supports prevention, and one of the goals in the Health Department Strategic Plan is that disease and injury are prevented; and,

WHEREAS, the Health Commission supports universal healthcare, treatment on demand and culturally competent services and has previously adopted resolutions supporting and advancing these policies, and believes that these efforts should continue to be priorities for the Health Department; and,

WHEREAS, the Charter should include goals for methadone maintenance, outpatient substance abuse treatment and substance abuse detoxification programs, rather than mandate wait times that might not be able to be achieved in a given year given economic consideration and competing priorities; and.,

WHEREAS, the Health Commission supports streamlining administration and the contracting process; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Health Commission supports the concept of stable, predictable and adequate funding for the Health Department, including retaining earnings from its enterprises, and the base budget should be sufficient to adequately cover all health services; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Health Commission urges the Board of Supervisors to amend the Charter Amendment so fewer of the Commission seats are designated for specific interest groups and the communityís interests are placed above special interests; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Health Commission urges the Board of Supervisors to reexamine the efficacy of centralizing all housing and urban health programs, including oversight and approval of such programs, even those that are not targeted toward the medically needy, in the Health Department; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Health Commission believes the Charter Amendment should also include an emphasis on prevention services as a priority; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that universal healthcare and treatment on demand and culturally competent services should continue to be Health Department priorities, but the Charter Amendment should include goals rather than mandates for implementing these policies; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Health Commission supports streamlining administration and the contracting process.

I hereby certify that the San Francisco Health Commission at its special meeting of October 21, 2003 adopted the foregoing resolution.

Michele M. Olson, Executive Secretary to the Health Commission