DR. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, and Dr. David Mowat, Interim Chief Medical Officer of Health, on Wednesday issued the following statement on Ontario’s preparedness for Ebola virus disease in Ontario:
WE know that Ontarians may have concerns related to the ongoing challenges in West Africa and recent events in the United States regarding the spread of the Ebola virus.
Let us assure you that the safety of Ontario’s health care workers, patients and the public are our top priority.
We are confident that Ontario is prepared and ready to contain and treat any potential case of Ebola virus in our province — protocols are in place and we’ve seen the system work well in Ontario hospitals.
With the experience and lessons learned from the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic, our health care facilities now have sophisticated infection control systems and procedures to protect health care providers, patients and all Ontarians. They are fully equipped to deal with any potential cases of Ebola.
But all health care workers, especially those providing care to patients, must be safe and protected. This is why we are working with health care employers to ensure they are providing appropriate training for their staff on the proper use of personal protective equipment and other occupational health and safety measures. We are also continuing to work with health care workers and employers to further strengthen protective measures and ensure they’re in place at all times.
Our health care workers are on the front lines and it is times like these when we are all reminded of how critical their work is in protecting the public. We want them to feel safe.
We will be reaching out to our health care partners to ensure they have the maximum protection possible and plan to release revised guidelines by the end of the week.
The government, in collaboration with our health system partners, is monitoring the Ebola situation and is continually assessing our state of readiness should a case of Ebola ever occur in Ontario.
On behalf of both the ministry and the government of Ontario, we would like to thank our health care workers for their selfless and tireless work on behalf of all Ontarians.