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Docs seek guidance of flu pandemic

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  • Docs seek guidance of flu pandemic


    Sat, September 20, 2008
    Docs seek guidance of flu pandemic

    The organization representing Alberta's doctors and medical students says it needs regular communication from the province's new health services board about preparations for an influenza pandemic.


    Dr. Darryl LaBuick of the Alberta Medical Association says under the old system of nine regional health authorities, doctors felt that every region seemed to be getting ready in a different way and to different degrees.

    LaBuick says the Canadian Medical Association has developed a checklist to help physicians prepare.

    He says doctors will be doing what they can to put their own practices in order but adds that they can't do the job without "clear leadership, co-ordinated, provincewide planning and regular communication from the Alberta Health Services Board."

    The association's 119-physician representative forum passed a resolution to this effect at a meeting in Edmonton yesterday.

    Questions raised by physicians include what measures will be in place to protect physicians and front-line health professionals in the event of a pandemic, and whether there's a central stockpile of infection-control supplies for physician offices.

    "Alberta Health Services Board needs not only to prepare but also to communicate about its readiness to respond," LaBuick said in a news release.

    The association represents nearly 9,000 physicians, medical residents and medical students.

    [/]Its surveys from 2006 to 2008 found only one in five physicians believed their regional health authorities were prepared.[/B]


    The association notes that Alberta Health and Wellness has estimated that a pandemic would mean four times as many outpatient visits than there would be in a normal year, four times as many hospitalizations and eight times as many deaths.