Health Care
2:56 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Health director's priorities: end overdose deaths

Dept. of Health director Dr. Michael Fine
Credit Rhode Island Department of Health

Rhode Island Department of Health director Dr. Michael Fine says Rhode Island must address prescription drug abuse. Fine’s comments come as part of a list of priorities he’s shared with lawmakers.

Health chief's priorities for Rhode Island

Topping the list: ending deaths from prescription drug overdoses and colorectal cancer, as well as curbing the transmission of new HIV cases in Rhode Island. Fine also wants to reduce the number of premature births and C-section deliveries.

But his priorities also include a reminder of the state’s challenges, from smoking and poverty to the high cost of health care and the lack of resources for preventative medicine. The governor’s 2013 budget proposal would keep most of Fine’s funding intact but trim nearly $3 million dollars from the division of community, family health, and equity, which focuses on prevention.

Fine presented his priorities to members of the state Senate Committee on Health and Human Services  and gave them a tour of health facilities on Tuesday.

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