Several City Council members introduced a motion Wednesday to explore creating a city health department to give Los Angeles, which currently relies on the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, more control over public health resources.
The motion was introduced by Councilmen Gil Cedillo, Paul Krekorian, Bob Blumenfield and Kevin De Leon. They cited the devastation experienced by Los Angeles during the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason for the city to create its own health department.
“One of the biggest challenges of the pandemic has been ensuring that resources, such as (personal protective equipment), testing sites, and vaccine sites are placed where they are needed most. In neighborhoods such as Sun Valley, Pico-Union and Boyle Heights, one in six people has had COVID-19,” the motion stated.
“Yet, because the city’s public health response is run by the county, the city has very little control over how resources are allocated.”
The motion, if adopted, would instruct the chief legislative analyst and the city administrative officer to report on the feasibility of creating a City of Los Angeles Public Health Department.
The report would explore the responsibilities the department would have, the cost of implementation and the revenue sources that would fund the operation.
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