Activating the 9-1-1 system seems relatively simple on its face, but in reality, a lot has to happen behind the scenes to ensure you receive prompt and appropriate care. Fortunately for residents of the Show Me State the American Heart Association and its partners enacted the statewide Time Critical Diagnosis (TCD) program years ago.
Although the program uses less than $154,000 of a $28 billion budget, newly sworn-in Governor Mike Parson vetoed the funding citing the ability of the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) to utilize other funds to keep the program afloat. Lawmakers and advocates disagreed with that stance and fought to save the funding.
In the end, Governor Parson’s veto was sustained but the less-than-favorable publicity around the veto brought advocates, including the American Heart Association, the Missouri Hospital Association, the EMS community and DHSS to the table to discuss the future of Time Critical Diagnosis.
“While we are concerned about the loss of funding we have assurances from the governor and DHSS that the Time Critical Diagnosis program will continue,” said Karen Englert, Government Relations Director for Missouri. “We still have concerns, but the veto brought stakeholders together and we are having on-going discussions about improvements and enhancements to TCD. We’re committed to protecting TCD and will do everything we can to see that it not only continues but is strengthened.”