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Archived - Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada on meeting of the Joint Pan-Canadian Public Health Network Council and Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health on Ebola

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October 23, 2014

Let me first express my condolences to the family of Corporal Nathan Cirillo, the Canadian soldier who was shot during yesterday’s tragic event in Ottawa. It is a sad reminder that we must protect Canadians on all fronts.

Yesterday we held a meeting on Ebola preparedness with the members of the Joint Pan-Canadian Public Health Network Council and the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health.

We will continue to ensure Canada is well prepared for a possible case of Ebola. Protecting the health of Canadians is our greatest priority.

The goal of the meeting was to further strengthen co-ordination across the federal, provincial, and territorial governments in the event of a confirmed first case of Ebola in Canada.

It also provided us the opportunity to discuss how we can further improve the systems we all currently have in place to identify and prevent the spread of Ebola in Canada.

Canadians are extremely fortunate to have some of the best hospitals in the world with strong infection control systems that protect against the spread of illness. Canada’s frontline healthcare professionals are some of the best trained in the world and it is imperative that they feel they are adequately trained and be prepared.

To this end, we will continue to work together to provide the best information and guidance possible to support our frontline workers and to provide training and support to ensure that proper personal protective gear and safety protocols are in place.

I encourage my colleagues across the country to do dry-runs and exercises throughout the healthcare system, to further enhance our preparedness.

A component of Canada’s Ebola planning is our Ebola Rapid Response Teams. At yesterday’s meeting we discussed how to get the most out of the Teams’ drills and practice deployments in order to further strengthen our response plans. The drills are essential to ensuring that the Teams are able to deploy without hesitation to work with provincial, territorial and local health authorities who would be leading the response.

We will continue to share information, collaborate and plan together in order to ensure that all levels of government in Canada and the health sector are well prepared.

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