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Can J Public Health. 2005 Nov-Dec;96(6):409-11.

Ensuring a broad and inclusive approach: a provincial perspective on pandemic preparedness.

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  • 1Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Toronto, ON.


The SARS crisis revealed critical gaps in Ontario's health emergency response capacity, and identified, in the starkest terms possible, the need for improved emergency response planning. This article reviews the development of the Ontario Health Plan for an Influenza Pandemic (OHPIP), released in June 2005. Some key points arising from the provincial planning process include the necessity to: ensure a broad and inclusive development process; ensure the pandemic plan identifies: 1) clear roles and responsibilities of federal, provincial/territorial and municipal levels of government, 2) the approach to occupational health and safety issues and ethical decision-making, 3) a communications strategy linking all affected sectors and levels of government and health sector; 4) any commitments to antiviral stockpiling, vaccine and antiviral allocation and use, and an approach for drug delivery from provincial stockpiles to local public health units; 5) health human resource management and supplementation; and 6) key programs/services to be scaled back to maximize surge capacity; address best practices (e.g., involve all sectors of the health care system at the outset, acquire strategic expertise, coordinate/advocate with broader emergency response system, etc); and, outline future stages that include strengthening the delivery of clinical care to influenza cases; clarifying the role of primary care practitioners during a pandemic; leveraging Ontario's significant e-Health investments.

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