Budget Bulletin Investing More in Public Health and Safety Expertise

first_imgFINANCE–Budget Bulletin: Investing More in Public Health andSafety Expertise The Naylor Report on SARS, a report commissioned last year by thefederal government, highlighted the need for a steady investmentover time in the training of both new and existing public healthstaff. Nova Scotia is acting on Naylor’s short-term recommendationsresponse for provinces and territories. The report also calls forincreased federal public health investment. More money is also being made available for additional vaccinesfor children: we will continue to expand the chicken pox vaccineprogram and introduce a new vaccine for tetanus, diphtheria andwhooping cough for 14- to 16-year-olds. Nova Scotians have the best ambulance services in the country,thanks to our highly trained paramedics. Additional investmentsin training and equipment for first responders and wage increasesfor paramedics will maintain this excellent service. PROTECTING NOVA SCOTIA FROM TODAY’S NEW THREATSThe Department of Health has begun an emergency planning,preparedness and response initiative for the province’s health-care system. This will be a response plan for hazards rangingfrom SARS, West Nile Virus, pandemic flu, through toterrorist-associated chemical, radiation or biological events. The plan will be consistent with the National Health EmergencyManagement Framework, and include such components as publichealth measures, health and emergency services, surveillance andcommunication activities. Participants in this initiative includethe district health authorities, the Department of CommunityServices and several elements of the Department of Health. When combined with the additional public health officials beingrecruited by the department, the plan will make Nova Scotiabetter prepared to deal with threats to our public health. -30- a second medical officer of health for the Capital Health district; a medical officer of health, to monitor environmental health issues; an epidemiologist, to monitor and respond to outbreaks of infections or diseases; a public health nurse consultant, communicable disease; a senior public health inspector; a part-time disaster-planning specialist; one additional administrative support.center_img In 2004-05, an additional $550,000 will be invested in infectiousdisease control, environmental health and other public healthissues by hiring more public health experts. The additionalresources will enable the department to manage the growing rangeof public health issues surrounding new and emerging diseases,while continuing to handle other duties such as immunizationprograms and safe drinking water. The funding is earmarked for seven new positions: last_img

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