New Powers of Ontario's Chief Medical Officer Of Health

New Powers of Ontario's Chief Medical Officer Of Health

“A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!” is a saying that can now be applied to Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) because the Ontario legislature yesterday unanimously passed the Health Protection and Promotion Amendment Act, 2010 to improve Ontario’s response to public health emergencies.

Through the Health Protection and Promotion Amendment Act, 2010, the Chief Medical Officer of Health will get that extra power and new authority to:

  • direct boards of health and medical officers of health to adopt measures during a pandemic or other public health emergency;
  • only take these steps if there is an imminent public health-related risk or where a coordinated response is necessary to protect the health of Ontarians;
  • advice the Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to use publicly owned spaces for public health purposes, such as holding immunization clinics; and
  • this new act also requires that an appointment of an acting medical officer of health be approved by the Minister and the CMOH.

Ontario is continuing to take steps toward implementing Panorama, a pan-Canadian initiative to improve public heath surveillance and delivery of immunization programs.

Please click here to see an overview of Ontario’s response to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, identifying what worked well and the opportunities to strengthen the process.

Ontario, Canada

News Release

Improving Ontario’s Response To Public Health Emergencies

April 12, 2011

McGuinty Government Expands Chief Medical Officer Of Health’s Powers

Ontario is strengthening and improving the coordination of the province’s response to future public health emergencies or events, such as a pandemic.

The Ontario legislature today unanimously passed the Health Protection and Promotion Amendment Act, 2010. It will give the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) new authority to direct boards of health and medical officers of health to adopt measures during a pandemic or other public health emergency.The CMOH will only take these steps if there is an imminent public health-related risk or where a coordinated response is necessary to protect the health of Ontarians.

The new legislation also expands the Minister’s authority to use publicly owned spaces, on the advice of the CMOH, for public health purposes, such as holding immunization clinics.

QUOTES

“I’m proud of the way our government has demonstrated its commitment to public health in Ontario. This legislation will help us to strengthen our response to public health emergencies.”

– Deb Matthews
Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“This new legislation provides the central authority needed in a public health emergency like a pandemic. It is critical to ensuring that our highly regarded public health system continues to protect the health of Ontarians.”

– Dr. Arlene King
Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health

QUICK FACTS

  • The new act also requires that an appointment of an acting medical officer of health be approved by the Minister and the CMOH.
  • Ontario is continuing to take steps toward implementing Panorama, a pan-Canadian initiative to improve public heath surveillance and delivery of immunization programs.

CONTACTS

  • For public inquiries call ServiceOntario, INFOline
    1-866-532-3161
    (Toll-free in Ontario only)
  • Neala Barton
    Minister’s Office
    416-327-4388

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
ontario.ca/health

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