Privatized Public Health. Yucky Results

Stuck with a shrinking tax base and slammed by the 2008 recession, Detroit began slashing the budget of its once-robust public health department. It cut 70% of its employees by 2010.
Things got worse. Facing bankruptcy, the city outsourced its public health responsibilities to a nonprofit. By 2012, the health department had just 5 employees. 

  • The nonprofit had no accountability. 

  • Residents had no say in funding. 

  • Childhood vaccination coverage dropped below 50%.

The city reversed course, and COVID-19 forced it to accelerate reinvestment in the health department. 

Now with 270 employees, the department is still struggling to regain public trust.

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