Canada’s government leaders continue to take unprecedented steps to slow the spread of COVID-19 and ‘flatten the curve’ for the health care system. Several provinces have declared states of emergency, which gives them the authority to limit large gatherings and to order the closure of bars and restaurants. The federal government is also considering enacting the Federal Emergencies Act.
The CMA is working diligently with key partners to help limit the spread of COVID-19, including the launch of a national awareness campaign, and are in daily communication with government officials on our six priority measures.
Here’s an update of our latest work and information related to COVID-19:
Securing PPE supplies for members
The CMA is having discussions with federal officials about securing additional protective equipment for health care workers. The officials conveyed that securing PPE is a top priority and they are taking proactive steps to restock supplies, including:
- working with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to see if any of their members can re-tool their factories to produce PPE;
- working with Health Canada to streamline regulatory processes to enable rapid approval for production lines and facilities; and
- engaging with provincial and territorial governments to leverage their collective purchasing power.
Here is some guidance from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) for the use of PPE in acute care for COVID-19, as well as further guidance on contact, droplet and airborne precautions.
Addressing the economic impact on physicians
We’re hearing concerns about financial losses and the impact COVID-19 will have on physicians’ incomes. As I indicated earlier this week, we are asking the federal government to implement a targeted tax credit to alleviate any negative financial impacts that health care providers may experience if they are quarantined following patient care. The CMA is working with key stakeholders such as the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, to bring forward our collective concerns.
CMA national awareness campaign
The CMA launched a national public awareness campaign to reinforce public health messages about COVID 19. We are urging the public to do their part to flatten the curve NOW, by: practicing social distancing, increasing personal hygiene and self-isolating if you feel unwell or have traveled outside Canada. Watch and share our video. In addition, we’ve created information posters that physicians can download, send electronically to their patients or post on the front doors of their clinics.
Joule Innovation grants extended
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are extending the deadline for the Joule Innovation grant applications indefinitely so we can all focus on keeping Canadians healthy. We remain committed to supporting physician-led innovation and will announce the new deadline as soon as possible. The application portal remains open so you can submit your application when it is most convenient. For more information, please visit joulecma.ca/grants.
CMAJ fast-tracking submissions on COVID-19
The Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) is interested in publishing submissions related to COVID-19 that are deemed to be of public health and policy importance. Editor-in-chief Andreas Laupacis is also considering how to share stories of success, innovation and resilience in the face of the pandemic. Send your stories and submissions to [email protected].
As issues and new measures emerge to cope with COVID-19, we are updating our COVID-19 page with the most relevant information for physicians and patients.
If you have suggestions on how we can support you during this time, please contact our Member Service Centre at [email protected] or toll-free at 1-888-855-2555 (weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm ET).
Thank you for your dedication and commitment during this challenging time.
Dr. Sandy Buchman