Mar 07, 2023

By Christine Ross

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In his just-released annual report the province’s top doctor says public health preparedness cannot fall by the wayside once COVID-19 fades from memory.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kieran Moore says the arrival of the next pandemic is not a question of if, but when, and even though Ontario forgot the lessons of SARS, that cannot happen again.

The report says that testing and surveillance should be strengthened because they’re not integrated enough and too much had to be done manually during the pandemic.

Dr. Moore comments from his report called “Being Ready”

“Echoing previous public health reports, this report calls for an end to the “boom and bust” cycle of funding, where investments in public health are increased following major events but subsequently taper off as time passes. With continued investments in public health preparedness, Ontario can build and maintain its health system and its community and societal readiness to respond to future challenges. This includes continuing to build a skilled, adaptable, and resilient health care workforce as well as investing in scientific expertise, technologies, systems, supplies, and other resources we need to detect and manage outbreaks. It means ensuring all communities and settings, especially those that face health and social inequities, are supported through collaborative partnerships to be resilient and have better health outcomes during future outbreaks. It is also important to continue building social trust, counter misinformation, and help people understand how and why decisions are made while providing the information and tools they need to protect themselves and those around them.” – Dr. Moore

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