Thirty health care and patient safety organizations have sent a letter to Congress asking for $31.5 million to fund the National Healthcare Safety Network, which tracks healthcare-associated infections. Led by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, the organizations argue that even in tight fiscal times the money would go toward fighting infections that take many lives and cost more than $30 billion annually. Here is the letter to leaders of the House Appropriations subcommittee on Labor, HHS and Education:

“We respectfully request that you support $31.5 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) and the Prevention Epicenters Program in the FY 2014 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. These programs should be a priority, even in this climate of limited financial resources, because they are uniquely positioned to protect patients and the public from disease and death related to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and to detect the transmission of infections that are highly resistant to antibiotics.

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