From CBC News
Three and a half years after the virus behind COVID-19 began its rampage around the world — eventually killing tens of thousands of Canadians — a group of top medical experts is calling on federal officials to launch a full national inquiry into Canada’s pandemic response.
In a sweeping set of editorials and analysis papers published on Monday in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), more than a dozen physicians and health advocates are shining a spotlight on what they’ve dubbed the country’s “major pandemic failures,” from the devastation in long-term care homes, to vaccine hoarding, to higher death rates among lower-income communities.
Those shortcomings all played out against the backdrop of the country’s complex, fragmented health-care system. That decentralized approach, the authors argue, led to dramatic differences in how each province handled the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus first reported in Canada in Jan. 2020.
“We weren’t closing the gaps, and by then, really we should have,” said Dr. Sharmistha Mishra, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of Toronto and Unity Health.
Governments still need to push for workplace improvements to address those systemic issues, she argued, including adequate sick days, strategies to reach communities with lower incomes and higher population densities, and ensuring vaccine equity.