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Public health emergencies and emerging threats

Canada’s public health care system faces new and emerging public health threats every year. Pandemics like SARS and avian flu have posed serious challenges to the health care system. Similarly, emergencies like floods and fires require governments to respond in a rapid and efficient manner.

The CMA continues to call on the federal government to invest significant resources to prepare for public health emergencies and emerging threats, should they arise.

Watch this section for CMA statements on public health emergencies and emerging threats as they occur.

Pandemic planning for medical practices

An influenza pandemic presents unique challenges for the delivery of health care, with case numbers likely to seriously exceed the capacity and capability of our systems to cope in conventional ways.

Physicians will be on the front lines of response, so it is important that they be prepared both personally and in their practice. Physicians should develop a preparedness plan to ensure their practice can respond in a coherent, effective and coordinated way to maintain service continuity. This planning will also help in responding to other communicable disease situations.

Physicians should identify someone to coordinate pandemic influenza planning for their office, and should remember to update their plan and procedures annually, or after each wave of pandemic influenza.