Health minister responds to workers' concerns on Ebola preparedness

B.C.'s health minister issued a letter to health workers late Friday addressing concerns that have been raised about the health care system's preparedness for possible Ebola patients in B.C.

READ THE HEALTH MINISTER'S LETTER TO HEALTH CARE WORKERS

Earlier this week, HEU contacted health employers to determine what plans were being put in place to respond to a possible Ebola case here in B.C.

HEU secretary-business manager Bonnie Pearson also contacted Provincial Health Officer Perry Kendall earlier this week to express concerns over the lack of clear communication with health care workers about Ebola preparedness plans and protocols.

"We are particularly concerned about the coordination of information between infection control professionals and the myriad of public and private employers that operate within the health care system today," says Pearson.

Two health care workers in the United States are now being treated for the virus after caring for an Ebola patient in a Dallas hospital earlier this month.

In his letter to health care workers, health minister Terry Lake says that he has created a task force "that will ensure that information and best practices are shared across all health authorities."

The minister goes on to say that health authorities will be providing more information to health care workers about protocols in place to deal with a suspected Ebola case.

HEU will continue to work with public and contracted health employers along with public health officials and government to ensure that members receive timely information and appropriate equipment and training to deal with infectious disease.