Statement of Support
On behalf of the millions of lives served by the Illinois Poison Center (IPC), _____________, the undersigned, support SB2674/HB4230, which reallocates a two cent wireless surcharge to fund a portion of the IPC. Due to continued decreases in government investment, the IPC is facing an impending closure date of July 1, 2014 without this funding. It is important to note, Illinois would be the only state in the country without poison center services.
Since 2009, the annual public funding of the Illinois Poison Center has decreased approximately $1.5 million. The IPC has responded to these state and federal funding cuts through operational reductions, but, unfortunately, will not be able to meet the requirements of Illinois Statute [410 ILCS 47] if further reductions are made, leaving the State of Illinois without state-mandated poison prevention services.
Set up as 24-hour toll-free emergency call center service, the IPC is a public health first responder and is often the first to identify contaminated food outbreaks, tainted medication and other health crises, including synthetic drugs. Moreover, the IPC is the State of Illinois’ only remaining poison center and is integrated into the state’s emergency response plan. With that said, we firmly believe that the IPC is reasonably within the current state public policy to partially fund its operations in the same manner as 9-1-1 call centers. Please be aware that the plan put forth by the IPC would not raise taxes on Illinois consumers and would not affect current funding for 9-1-1 call centers.
- The IPC cares for nearly 80,000 poison-related cases throughout Illinois annually, with nearly 49 percent of these cases involving children ages five and under.
- The IPC not only protects and saves lives, but it is also a wise and important investment – saving Illinois taxpayers more than $50 million annually, with nearly $30 million of that being Medicaid and Medicare savings. It is estimated that for every $1 invested in the IPC, there is a $13 savings in reduced health care and lost productivity costs.
- 53,000 calls are triaged by the IPC annually, preventing Illinoisans from calling 9-1-1 first and preventing unnecessary ambulance runs, saving limited resources for those in actual need. The relationship the IPC has with first-responders throughout the State further demonstrates that the IPC is an enhancement of 9-1-1 services.
Please add our names to a growing list of supporters including: the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Attorney General, the Illinois EMS Advisory Council (including all 11 individual EMS Regions), Illinois State Medical Society, EverThrive Illinois, Access Community Health Network, Illinois College of Emergency Physicians, Emergency Nurses Association and our local hospitals because the State of Illinois cannot afford to lose its only remaining poison control, information and treatment center.