Roles & Responsibilities During a PandemicAn influenza pandemic would have a profound impact throughout Ontario, so it is critical that the roles and responsibilities in managing the pandemic be clearly defined.
- Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) is responsible for provincial management of infectious disease outbreaks, including an influenza pandemic.
- The CMOH is supported by the Provincial Infectious Disease Advisory Committee (PIDAC), which provides advice on required prevention, surveillance and control measures.
- To strengthen its response to a wide range of emergencies, the province has adopted the Incident Management System (IMS). The IMS is a system which allows providers to manage operations and exchange information in an emergency situation. IMS provides the operational framework for emergency management across government ministries.
- Early in a pandemic the CMOH and other senior management would provide direction and guidance for operational management of the pandemic to the health care sector through the Ministry Emergency Operations Centre (MEOC).
- The MEOC is supported by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s (MOHLTC) Emergency Management Unit and would be responsible for working closely with health stakeholders to implement measures to minimize the impact of an influenza pandemic.
- The MEOC would provide updated communications messages and operational guidance based on the most current epidemiological information.
- The MEOC will be linked to the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre, at Emergency Management Ontario (EMO), as part of a broader effort to coordinate the provincial emergency response in sectors outside of health.
- The MOHTLC is also linked at the federal level to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), including the Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response.
- The MOHLTC is linked at the local level to local public health units.
Government of Canada
- Liaise with the World Health Organization, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and/or other national/international organizations and communicate back to provinces via national CMOH teleconferences or other fora.
- Set and communicate standards for surveillance, investigation and vaccine activities among provincial/territorial jurisdictions.
- Implement national pandemic communications strategy.
Government of Ontario
- MOHLTC to implement surveillance, investigation and vaccine standards developed by Public Health Agency of Canada.
- MOHLTC to assist local public health authorities in surveillance and vaccine administration and ensure compliance with adopted standards to achieve consistency across the province.
- MOHLTC to liaise with EMO, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS) and other federal, provincial, territorial communications counterparts to implement pandemic communications strategy.
- EMO to liaise with other ministries and municipalities to support the activities of the MOHLTC and provide provincial coordination of emergency response outside the health sector.
- Ministries to liaise with their relevant stakeholders to ensure proper precautions are being taken.
Municipal Government and Local Public Health Authorities
- Local public health authorities to implement surveillance and outbreak control measures consistent with provincial guidance
- Local public health authorities to deliver mass prophylaxis/vaccination program
- Municipal government and local public health authorities to communicate with the Government of Ontario
- Municipal government and local public health authorities to communicate with health care facilities, emergency responders regarding provincial guidance on health services delivery, outbreak management and other issues
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