Public health advocacy organization applauds CPHO’s annual report
The Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) applauds the 2021 annual report issued by the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, Dr. Theresa Tam. Entitled A Vision to Transform Canada’s Public Health System, the report provides an overview of Canada’s pandemic experience and suggests ways strengthen Canada’s public health systems so that we can be better prepared for the next health crisis.
Dr. Theresa Tam, has released her latest report on the State of Public Health in Canada 2021, A Vision to Transform Canada’s Public Health System. This year's report describes the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and provides a vision to transform Canada's public health system. The report proposes a series of transformation opportunities and actionable ideas that will leave us better prepared for the next public health crisis, and ultimately, help all people in Canada to achieve better health.
COVID-19 is a wake-up call on the urgent need to strengthen public health systems. The CPHO’s report contains a number of recommendations similar to those contained in CPHA’s Review of Canada’s Initial Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, released in February 2021.
In particular, the CPHO’s report calls on Canada to have a “world-class” public health system. CPHA supports the elements of such a system as described in Dr. Tam’s report, namely:
• Impactful and Lasting Public Health Policies and Programs
• Connected, Responsive, and Equitable Knowledge and Information Systems
• State-of-the-Art Medical and Digital Health Technology
• A Strong and Supported Public Health Workforce
• Financial Stability to Achieve Population Health
• Effective Governance across Jurisdictions and Sectors
CPHA looks forward to working with governments in every jurisdiction to help build these world-class public health systems to improve the health and well-being of all who live in Canada.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed both the strengths and the weaknesses in our national public health response. Chief among our concerns is that it revealed and, in some cases, made worse the inequities in our society. But it also provides us the opportunity post-pandemic to improve our systems so that we are better prepared for the next major infectious disease outbreak.”
“In order to be better prepared for the next infectious disease outbreak, we need federal legislation for public health – a Canada Public Health Act – with clear roles and responsibilities defined for all governments and stakeholders. Such legislation would require a national funding accord that incorporates performance measures for the delivery of public health services according to national standards.”
“Canada lacks national data collection standards and so we have inconsistencies in how surveillance data are collected and reported. Chief among these is our failure to collect information concerning race, ethnicity and socio-economic status. This deficiency prevents officials from knowing which residents are most affected and from targeting services to meet their needs. This deficiency has clouded the real impact of COVID-19 on Black and Indigenous populations and people of colour.”
Canadian Public Health Association