Contact tracing is widely recognized as a crucial measure to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) recognizes that digital contact tracing apps have the potential to be a useful aid and welcomes today’s announcement by the federal government to support a national app.
We believe that a national app must be deployed alongside other resources dedicated to contact tracing. Governments must continue to ensure public health units are properly funded and staffed. These units must also have adequate logistical support to effectively manage tracing and leverage the potential of the app. We also urge government to look at how to provide equitable access to the app and recognize the inequities associated with technology supports.
Ultimately, the success of these tools will lie in our ability to strike the right balance between respecting privacy and earning public trust. Only then will we see significant uptake of this new resource to help in the fight against COVID-19.
Dr. Sandy Buchman
President, Canadian Medical Association