TORONTO, Oct. 20, 2014 /CNW/ - "If the Ebola outbreak were in Calgary the federal government would likely act, because people would be dying on the floors and at the doorways of overwhelmed hospitals, in their homes and on the streets. Canada would call out desperately for help and we would want that call to be answered from around the world. Today our federal government again turned its back on Africa and African lives," said Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE.
Minister of Health Rona Ambrose has announced that no additional medical personnel would be encouraged to go to West Africa until their medical evacuation could be guaranteed. Medical evacuation can cost $150,000 per patient transfer. In response to the problems of the cost and complexity of medical evacuation and the scarcity of airplanes, which can safely effect medical evacuation of a patient with Ebola, U.S. medical emergency planners are building additional treatment centres in the affected countries, for medical personnel.
Canada announced no such mobile hospital construction plans for Africa today or any dedication of our air force resources to make such medical patient evacuations easier. The federal government has rejected proposals to send mobile field hospitals to Africa and refused a formal request for surplus personal protective equipment, which it has sold at a fraction of its value.
The World Health Organization has increased its estimate of possible Ebola cases from 5,000 to 1.4 million by January 2015.
"Ebola must be attacked at its source. This requires the mobilization of health human resources and supplies, on a scale not seen outside of wartime. It is time for leadership from the federal government", Hurley said.
SOURCE: Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE)
For further information: Michael Hurley, President, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE (OCHU), 416-884-0770