Canadians have been better versed in the country's complex health care system ever since COVID-19 knocked on our door but its left some questions, one being what's the difference between Health Canada and the Public Health Agency Of Canada?
Who do we have to thank for keeping us safe? Who's responsible for all these policies? There are actually two health groups that have really stepped up publicly during this pandemic: Health Canada and Public Health Agency Of Canada.
But what many might not know, is that they are two very separate entities that are not really interchangeable, however, both are fighting for the overall health of Canadians.
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What is Health Canada?
Health Canada is mainly responsible for keeping Canadians on track regarding their health.
The agency also makes sure that people of the True North get the best health care possible, according to the Government of Canada.
A few of their duties include modernizing the country's health-care system, protecting and boosting the health of Canadians, teaching others about disease prevention, and partnering with other health-related agencies.
This is to ensure they have exhausted every avenue to meet the needs of every Canadian.
The department is also super well known for letting Canadians know when something has been recalled and providing safety alerts.
They also push people to be active in their day to day lives by promoting physical activity and eating better.
The department is also known for supporting research and fostering relationships with scientists across the country and globe.
What is the Public Health Agency Of Canada?
Public Health Agency of Canada, although similar to Health Canada in nature, was created to really bring home the country's promise to help protect the health of Canadians.
They are on the front lines and are the best of the best, who focus on slowing down chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.
They are also trained to respond to public health emergencies and infectious disease outbreaks, as we have most recently seen with the novel coronavirus.
PHAC is also responsible for ensuring Canadians know about food safety, safe and healthy travel and promoting vaccinations.
Both Health Canada and PHAC are a part of what the minister of health calls the health portfolio.
The portfolio includes around 12,000 full-time employees and an annual budget of over $3.8 billion.
Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Patented Medicine Prices Review Board, Canadian Institutes of Health Research are also part of this group.
Where does Dr. Tam work?
Dr. Therasa Tam, who probably needs little introduction to Canadians by now, is Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, since 2017.
She also works with Public Health Agency of Canada.
She is a physician who is a total expert when it comes to everything relating to "immunization, infectious disease, emergency preparedness and global health security," according to the government of Canada's website.
She also advises the minister of health and the President of the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Every year like clockwork, she is responsible for submitting a report to the minister of health in terms of the status of public health in Canada and how we're doing as a country in totality.