SEIU Healthcare leadership, staff, and members have been involved in Ebola prevention healthcare worker protection. We have representation on the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care's Ebola Advisory Table (EAT) and took part in the Ontario Hospital Association's December 5, 2014 teleconference on Ebola preparedness.
Healthcare workers have a significantly higher risk of exposure to Ebola than the general public and therefore must be protected by effective health and safety policies and procedures. This applies to all healthcare workers, such as environmental service workers, doctors, nurses, food service workers, personal support workers, and EMS workers (paramedics).
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We have called on the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to create directives specific to different sectors (e.g. long-term care, nursing homes, complex continuing care, etc.) because no workplace is immune to risk. We are also reviewing the policies of individual workplaces we represent to help protect workers.
Do you have concerns about Ebola preparedness in your workplace? Contact the Member Resource Centre.
While discussions with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care have led to substantial positive changes in the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) directives, there are improvements to be made in the areas of training (e.g. donning and doffing procedures) and appropriate Ministry of Labour inspections.
Together, we can ensure that the Canadian healthcare system is providing the highest quality of care while respecting the health and safety of healthcare workers.