The Provincial Health Officer replies

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 51 , No. 6 , July August 2009 , Pages 239 Letters

In response to Dr Arif’s enquiry, I would refer all BC physicians to the recently posted documents on the Public Health Agency of Canada web site, “Interim Guidance—Infection Prevention and Control Measures for Health Care Workers in Ambulatory Care Facilities for Human cases of Swine Influenza A H1N1,” www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/alert-alerte/swine-porcine/hp-ps-info_amb-eng.php and the accompanying document for “In­fection Control Guidelines in Acute Care Facilities,” www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/alert-alerte/swine-porcine/guidance-orientation-ipc-eng.php.

The BC Ministry of Health Services is not planning at this time to follow the Ontario decision to supply physicians’ private offices with protective equipment as the ministry believes it is properly the responsibility of the physician to ensure that infection control practices are in place in these offices.

At the request of Canada’s ministers of health, a national advisory group reviewed the issue of providing antivirals as prophylaxis during a pandemic and recommended that governments not do this. Rather, they emphasized that government’s antiviral stockpiles, with few exceptions, should be reserved for early treatment of infection during a pandemic. This report and its annexes can also be accessed at the Public Health Agency of Canada web site.

—Perry Kendall, MD
Provincial Health Officer

Perry Kendall, OBC, MBBS, MSc, FRCPC. The Provincial Health Officer replies. BCMJ, Vol. 51, No. 6, July, August, 2009, Page(s) 239 - Letters.



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