(Ottawa) Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu calls on former national security adviser to determine if Canada’s pandemic alert system failed to sound the alarm before the novel coronavirus arrives .
Margaret Bloodworth, who served as National Security Advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, will chair a three-member review panel that will investigate what went wrong with the Global Public Health Intelligence Network.
Mme Bloodworth will be joined by Dr. Paul Gully, a former deputy administrator of public health in Canada, and professor at the University of Sherbrooke Mylaine Breton, holder of the Canada Research Chair in Clinical Governance in Primary Care Services .
The Global Public Health Intelligence Network (GPHIN) was established in 1990 within the Public Health Agency of Canada to “rapidly detect, identify, assess, prevent and mitigate threats to human health”.
Created by the Government of Canada in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), the RMISP thus helped to report both the SARS pandemic in 2003 and the H1N1 influenza in 2009, before one either of these viral outbreaks has really exploded.
But its role in gathering information and reporting on international disease outbreaks changed in 2019 – just before the novel coronavirus emerged – when the Public Health Agency of Canada began to focus more. on national issues.
Some experts argue that because of this change, Canada did not get early information on the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that appeared in China last fall. Minister Hajdu therefore wants to know if this monitoring system has really failed and how it could better prepare Canada for future pandemics.