Government of Canada

Government of Canada - Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and Health Canada – Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response (CEPR)

The Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response is Canada's central coordinating point for public health security issues. Among its many responsibilities, CEPR:

  • Develops and maintains national emergency response plans for the Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada, such as the Canadian Pandemic Influenza Plan for the Health Sector;
  • Monitors outbreaks and global disease events;
  • Assesses public health risks during emergencies;
  • Contributes to keeping Canada's health and emergency policies in line with threats to public health security and general security for Canadians in collaboration with other federal, international health and security agencies;
  • Is responsible for the important federal public health rules governing laboratory safety and security, quarantine and similar issues; and
  • Is the health authority in the Government of Canada on bioterrorism, emergency health services and emergency response.

The Preparedness Section of the Canadian Pandemic Influenza Plan for the Health Sector (the Plan) addresses prevention and preparedness activities expected to be undertaken predominantly during the Interpandemic Period. It provides information and guidelines that can be used in the development of plans for federal, provincial and territorial (F/P/T) and local management of an influenza pandemic. It is based on the deliberations of a number of pandemic influenza working groups, as well as the input of other stakeholder groups and organizations.

An influenza pandemic is a complex public health emergency and, as such, the respective Ministries of Health have the primary responsibility for planning. Current activities also include coordination with other sectors to support both the health response and to maintain societal functioning.

In terms of F/P/T activities, Emergency Management Organizations (EMOs) are now represented on the Pandemic Influenza Committee. The “EMO role” is consider to be three fold:

  1. Managing the normal range of non-health events;
  2. Coordinating the provision of social/societal support to community residents;
  3. Providing support to the health sector as requested and as appropriate, the latter being primarily in the coordination of surge related logistics support.

During the pandemic, emergency management organizations at all levels will be engaged in managing the non-health consequences, such as the continuity of operations of essential services that result from absenteeism.

It is anticipated that the emergency management and coordination of a response to an influenza pandemic will be based on existing plans and structures for health emergencies at all levels of government, including the involvement of the F/P/T Emergency Health Services (EHS) and Emergency Social Services (ESS).

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