John F. Kennedy photo

Statement by the President Upon Signing the Community Health Services and Facilities Act.

October 05, 1961

IN MY Health Message to Congress, I called for Federal action to help communities develop organized out-of-hospital health services and expand health care facilities, particularly for the care of the chronically ill and aged. The bill I have just signed--the Community Health Services and Facilities Act of 1961--is a strong, affirmative response by the Congress to this request.

The bill authorizes special project grants to develop improved methods of providing out-of-hospital care so that many aged people and chronically ill patients can be spared the high cost of hospital care and can spend more time with their families. It authorizes increased Federal aid in the construction of health research facilities. It steps up support for research on the construction and equipment design. of hospitals in a search for ways to improve services and cut costs. It encourages, by Federal grants, the construction of nursing homes to help relieve the existing shortage of these facilities. It will help place the best available knowledge in public health methods and new research knowledge in health care at the disposal of communities by increasing Federal assistance to State and local public health services.

Effective public health measures and medical care depend, in the last analysis, on action at the community level. This legislation will provide stimulation for improvement in local organized health services and facilities for home, nursing home, and hospital care, and particularly care for the aged. It will help to meet the objective of making quality health care available on an economical basis. I hope the State and community leaders and members of the health professions will take immediate advantage of the new opportunities provided by this legislation.

Note: The Community Health Services and Facilities Act of 1961 is Public Law 87-395 (75 Stat. 824).

John F. Kennedy, Statement by the President Upon Signing the Community Health Services and Facilities Act. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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