Health Policy Update

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Oct. 12, 2017

On Oct. 2, Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued a statewide emergency declaration to provide assistance and resources to Puerto Ricans arriving in Florida to escape the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. The declaration’s provisions include an allowance for pharmacists to dispense thirty day prescription refills for those evacuated from Puerto Rico and emergency responders, as well as a waiver of licensing requirements for certain out-of-state health professionals who are assisting with the emergency response. The declaration also authorizes the activation of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, a multijurisdictional agreement through which other states and territories can provide assistance and deploy resources (e.g., healthcare providers) to Florida during the emergency.

For more information about legal issues during emergencies, please visit ASTHO’s Legal Preparedness Series, a set of toolkits that address key information needs to help public health officials understand and use legal authorities when preparing for and responding to public health emergencies.