Friday, October 02, 2009

Call for health czar was prescient

In light of yesterday's reporting demonstrating that provinces are going in diverging directions on which vaccines they are offering to their populations first, it's beginning to look like the Canadian Medical Association's call back in August for a health czar to deal with H1N1 was a good one.
A visible independent health care czar, with executive powers across all jurisdictions and who is ultimately accountable to the highest office in the country, must be in place. Then, local leaders must be identified. All stakeholders should have clear communication with and rapid access to experts. We need leaders at all levels who will work together quickly and collaboratively to solve problems such as moving equipment and personnel from one area of a country to another as required without barriers imposed by licensing, hospital privileges and malpractice insurances concerns.
That would require national leadership though, not our present Harper government that seems to think it best to leave this national challenge to the provinces. And for what reason, we might ask? So it cannot be blamed for a poor response?

The statistics from the U.S. early on are concerning (h/t CanPolitico). Ontario is pressing the federal government to speed up approval of the vaccine. Other nations have it. We don't yet.
It may already be too late to prevent the spread of the virus in the general population, said one expert.
"Ideally, the vaccine would have been available in September," said Kumanan Wilson, Canada research chair in public health policy at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.
If you check that report, you'll also read about people's uncertainty over the vaccine itself.

Questions and it too much to ask for leadership here?