Health Ministers discuss Ebola preparedness in Canada
27 Oct, 2014, 15:15 ET
Ministers exchange information and best practices to ensure Canada is safe and well-prepared
OTTAWA, Oct. 27, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, Dr. Gregory Taylor, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, Terry Lake, British Columbia's Minister of Health and Dr. Perry Kendall, British Columbia's Provincial Health Officer held a teleconference of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Health Ministers to discuss Ebola preparedness. The group discussed ways to further strengthen coordination across all jurisdictions in the event a case of Ebola is confirmed in Canada.
Canada has some of the best hospitals in the world with strong infection control systems and procedures that protect against the spread of illness. Today's meeting gave each jurisdiction the chance to discuss current measures and opportunities to further improve the systems currently in place to identify and prevent the spread of Ebola in Canada.
To help support these systems, the Public Health Agency of Canada released a series of guidance documents on Ebola. As the outbreak continues to evolve, the Agency continues to re-visit the guidance to ensure that it remains the best advice possible. This guidance compliments the word-class training and education that healthcare professionals in Canada receive.
This meeting provided the opportunity for Ministers to discuss proposed revisions and implementation of the guidance in the context of their jurisdictions.
All Ministers also exchanged information and best practices on measures they are taking within their respective jurisdictions to ensure they are well-prepared to address Ebola.
The Government of Canada will continue to work in close collaboration with provincial and territorial health authorities and with Canada's health professionals and frontline healthcare workers to make sure we are well prepared to address this disease.
If a case of Ebola was confirmed in Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the relevant provincial or territorial health authority would immediately inform Canadians and ensure all appropriate precautions are taken to protect the public.
- On October 17th, the Government of Canada began to exercise its Ebola Rapid Response Teams to ensure Canada is ready to respond in the event of a first case of Ebola in Canada.
- The Agency has shipped 800 vials of its experimental Ebola vaccine to the World Health Organization in its role as the international coordinating body for the Ebola outbreak, so that the vaccine can be made available as an international resource.
- To date, Canada has committed $65 million in support of humanitarian and security interventions to address the spread of the Ebola virus in the West Africa region.
- There are no direct flights from the affected countries to Canada. Anyone travelling to Canada who has visited the affected countries is required to have a mandatory health assessment conducted by a Public Health Agency of Canada Quarantine Officer.
- On September 12th, the Government of Canada released guidance (recommendations) for healthcare workers on Ebola
"Today's meeting was about making sure we, as Health Ministers, are all working together to share information and best practices on behalf of all Canadians. Our number one priority is to ensure that Canadians are protected. We will continue to work with our partners in Canada and around the world to track and respond appropriately to this outbreak."
Honourable Rona Ambrose,
Minister of Health
"All levels of government and the health sector are working together to ensure that Canada is safe and well-prepared in the event of a case of Ebola in Canada. Meetings like this are integral to sharing information, determining a way forward and strengthening our already-strong public health partnerships with the provinces and territories."
Dr. Gregory Taylor
Chief Public Health Officer of Canada
"Today, health ministers from across the country met to discuss national Ebola preparedness. We are all aware of how important it is to work collaboratively on this issue, and I am very pleased with how today's meeting went. We discussed key issues, including transportation of potential suspected cases and how best to manage supplies. I want to reassure all Canadians that health authorities across the country have response plans in place in the unlikely event we see cases here, and those plans are continuously being monitored to ensure that they are up-to-date with the most current information."
Minister of Health, British Columbia
Fact Sheet – Ebola Virus Disease
Ebola Rapid Response Team practices deploying to a simulated case of Ebola
Government of Canada ships Ebola vaccine to World Health Organization
SOURCE: Public Health Agency of Canada
For further information: Michael Bolkenius, Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Federal Minister of Health, (613) 957-0200; Media Relations, Public Health Agency of Canada, (613) 957-2983
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