STATEMENT – OMA Encourages Social Distancing to Slow COVID-19 and Protect Patients and Frontline Health Care Workers

Ontario Medical Association (CNW Group/Ontario Medical Association)

TORONTO, March 14, 2020 /CNW/ – The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) is working closely with the Ministry of Health and other health care providers to contain the virus, protect patients and protect doctors.  The situation has now evolved to the point where limiting public interactions, more commonly known as social distancing, is necessary. 

“Social distancing is key to slowing the spread.  It will help minimize the impact of the spreading virus and flatten the curve, which essentially means a longer, slower rise in numbers of patients affected,” said Dr. Sohail Gandhi, OMA President.

The OMA is leading by example. Effective immediately the OMA is encouraging Ontario’s doctors to refrain from non-essential, in-person meetings and travel outside of Canada. The OMA is also postponing face-to-face meetings and events involving doctors.  Where necessary, virtual meetings will be held instead. OMA staff, working at 150 Bloor Street West, Toronto, will be working remotely.  This is consistent with the OMA’s business continuity plan and measures many public institutions are taking to facilitate social distancing.

“We have an ethical duty to avoid a surge in COVID-19 cases that would exceed the capacity of the health-care system to accommodate.  We also have a duty to protect our frontline health care workers, who face a greater risk of getting COVID-19.  Social distancing will not only help patients, and the public, it will help protect our frontline health care workers so they can continue to focus on the patients who need their care, and keep the rest of us healthy,” added Dr. Gandhi.   

The OMA supports the decisions of the federal and provincial governments, other organizations and individuals who are taking steps to implement or voluntarily practice social distancing. As Premier Ford outlined in his March 13, 2020 release, preventing the further spread of COVID-19 calls for a strong, unified response. 

We encourage the public to follow the Public Health Agency of Canada’s advice and exercise prudent social distancing by avoiding public gatherings and practicing good health hygiene.  For a comprehensive guideline click here.

About the OMA
The Ontario Medical Association represents Ontario’s 43,000 plus physicians, medical students and retired physicians, advocating for and supporting doctors while strengthening the leadership role of doctors in caring for patients. Our vision is to be the trusted voice in transforming Ontario’s health-care system. 

SOURCE Ontario Medical Association

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