TORONTO, Dec. 2, 2014 /CNW/ - Doctors Without Borders today called on developed nations to deploy biological disaster response teams to help fight Ebola on the ground in Africa. "It is time for Canada to answer the call from Doctors Without Borders to send staffed field hospitals to West Africa " said Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE. "Canada's exclusive focus on a vaccine, ignores the crying need for hospital infrastructure on the ground to provide care for people stricken with Ebola. This is a need that Canada is in a position to meet ", Hurley said.
Minister of Health Rona Ambrose has announced that no additional medical personnel would be encouraged to go to West Africa until their medical evacuation can be guaranteed. 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 has neither mobile hospital construction plans for Africa nor dedication of air force resources to make 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." Hurley said.
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. Cuba has provided outstanding leadership in sending hundreds of trained medical personnel to West Africa. It is time for Canada to act", 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