The impact of economic recession on infection prevention and control

Published:January 07, 2015DOI:


      The economic recession that began in 2007 led to austerity measures and public sector cutbacks in many European countries. Reduced resource allocation to infection prevention and control (IPC) programmes is impeding prevention and control of tuberculosis, HIV and vaccine-preventable infections. In addition, higher rates of infectious disease in the community have a significant impact on hospital services, although the extent of this has not been studied. With a focus on quick deficit reduction, preventive services such IPC may be regarded as non-essential. Where a prevention programme succeeds in reducing disease burden to a low level, its very success can undermine the perceived need for the programme. To mitigate the negative effects of recession, we need to: educate our political leaders about the economic benefits of IPC; better quantify the costs of healthcare-associated infection; and evaluate the effects of budget cuts on healthcare outcomes and IPC activities.


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