Doctors trumpet hard work of their colleagues in the face of H1N1

TORONTO, Nov. 22 /CNW/ - At its annual fall meeting, the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) recognized front line health care workers for their hard work and dedication to patient care during this unprecedented flu season. The OMA Council, which represents doctors from across the province, overwhelmingly passed a motion to express its thanks to Medical Officers of Health, physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals for their leadership.

"Public health physicians, doctors, nurses and other frontline workers have shown outstanding service to the patients of Ontario and they deserve recognition," said Dr. Suzanne Strasberg, President of the OMA. "While there have been challenges, these professionals have worked together to ensure patients continue to receive the health care they need and deserve."

Doctors' offices, public health clinics and pharmacies across the province have been inundated with calls from patients seeking information on the H1N1 flu and/or the vaccine and they are taking the additional workload in stride. Upon receiving the vaccine in their offices, physicians have worked tirelessly to get the vaccine to their patients. Recent data shows that 43% of the vaccine province-wide has been delivered to patients by primary care physicians, the highest of any other group. Doctors have given more than one million doses of the vaccine to their patients.

In an effort to allow physicians to focus on providing medical care and the vaccine to patients, Ontario's doctors have asked employers to reconsider asking their employees for a sick note. Physicians want employers to understand that by requiring a sick note, they are encouraging those who are experiencing their worst symptoms and are most infectious to go out, when they should just be home in bed. This message has been well received and Ontarians understand that it's important for everyone to do as much as possible to help prevent the spread of the H1N1 flu, thereby reducing the strain on the health care system.

Everyone can play a part in preventing the spread of this illness by:

    -   Washing your hands frequently and thoroughly.
    -   Sneezing and coughing into your sleeve.
    -   Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

If you do become ill, stay home to avoid contaminating others. It's important to remember that most cases of the flu will be mild and patients will be able to recover on their own, but if your symptoms worsen, or if you have an underlying health condition, you should visit your doctor immediately.

"Ontario's doctors know that there will be added pressures and increased work load this flu season and we will continue to care for and treat our patients," said Dr. Strasberg.

SOURCE Ontario Medical Association

For further information: For further information: please contact OMA Media Relations at: Leianne Musselman, (647) 638-6800 or Lorraine Forster, (416) 356-3128

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