The country's top doctor has released her thoughts on the year so far. Dr. Theresa Tam's deep dive on COVID-19 in Canada in her annual report was capped off with how we can move forward from the pandemic. There are three things that she's calling for action on.
Dr. Tam said in the CPHO Annual Report that there needs to be a priority on health equity to protect people across the country from COVID-19 and any future pandemics.
These are the three key areas where she wants to see action.
Leadership and governance at all levels for structural change
Dr. Tam believes that for structural change to happen across health, social and economic sectors, there needs to be leadership at every single level.
That means data needs to be arranged into layers so that the multiple needs of people can be understood like housing, safety and employment.
Also, pandemic plans that deal with multiple sectors need to be tested regularly to see if they're effective and they need to be both inclusive and comprehensive as well.
Dr. Tam said that action has to be measured and then adjusted appropriately until inequities are eliminated.
Harnessing the power of social cohesion
According to Dr. Tam, this is a key component for controlling and minimizing the negative effects of the pandemic.
She noted that in local communities and countries as a whole with strong norms of taking care of others, preventing and controlling resurgences like the second wave of COVID-19 are more likely to happen.
"It takes everyone to follow public health advice and support sustainable change to keep the virus under control and to protect those at high risk," Dr. Tam said in her report.
That includes public health officials, community organizations, politicians and individuals.
When there is social cohesion, the building blocks for a resilient society are there.
Strengthened public health capacity
Finally, Dr. Tam said that action needs to be taken to strengthen public health capacity.
With that, Canada can have a health system that's able to adapt during a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic and experience surges while still having the ability to deal with ongoing issues.
The country's top doctor said that this pandemic has offered an opportunity to re-evaluate what the future of public health can be.
She believes that we can progress forward through collaboration and a commitment from Canadians to unite to control the virus.
"By working together, we can move from risk to resilience," Dr. Tam said.