Canada, Ottawa, Nancy discussed on The Current

The Current


Home. I'm here in our studio with great small little crew so the show might sound a little difference but we're trying to make it our best and make sure that you have what you need when it comes to the latest most accurate information and as we did yesterday in our call in. We're hoping that we can also connect with each other through the radio as we go through all of this together so thanks for listening and let's get to it. There's a lot to talk about. The number of covert Nineteen infections in Canada continues to rise. More than eight hundred. Seventy people have tested positive for the virus. At least twelve have died and there are questions. About how many new patients are hospitals can handle health minister? Patty Hi do is the face of the fight against this crisis in Canada. And it's up to her. To balance sharing accurate information with keeping the public com. She joins me now from Ottawa Minister. Good Morning Good Morning. That how're you doing? Well I'm I was just saying to your folks here in Ottawa. It's surreal in a way for all of us and I would sam like every average Canadian trying to make sense of it while also being in the thick of it. What is that like because we see you every day now delivering the news to the public? And it's it's hard news. It's scary news and There are a lot of people who are feeling anxious about just receiving that news and absorbing what is it like for you bringing it to Canadians. It's it's really it's A. It's really hard. Obviously because people's lives have turned upside down and I know that and I know that people are scared and I know they're lonely and I know they're they're worried about families their finances and win. This is all GonNa end. These are the three questions I keep in my mind every day that I know Canadians are worried about and I tried to have honest direct answers. I mean I believe As you know as a politician Sometimes the tendency is to WanNa make people feel better. But actually I think it's radical honesty that's GonNa get us through this radical honesty. Yeah you know because People know that things are drastically different and they need to have information as quickly as possible. About what the real circumstances are and that information is not always easy to obtain or sometimes it's evolving so But I think you know people need to know that this is a obviously a real health risk but also a real economic crisis for not just Canada but the entire world. You're speaking on Tuesday and you ask Canadians to be kind to each other at this time and and you became emotional when you were talking about that. Who are you thinking of? When you said thinking I was thinking and you're GonNa make me Otieno again but I was thinking but all the people that don't have anyone I you know i. We all know people in our lives who are isolated whether it's You know the other lady whose children have died before her. That counts on the neighbor to snow. Blow her you know driveway whether it's You know the young twenty something year old. Who's left home and doesn't have any family or whether it's Just a the average person that that has mobility issues. They can't go out to the grocery store and get stuff and it's feeling like you know they've left behind. I worry about the people that live paycheck to paycheck. That get Social Assistance at the end of the month. And that's when they do their grocery shopping and what if they show up at the grocery store and there's nothing there for them on that particular day or the day after. Those are the people that I'm thinking about when I asked Canadians to be kind to one another. This is going to be hard on all of us. But they're going to be people particularly vulnerable people and That are going to be even more fragile this time and we need to take care of them too. Are you encouraged by what you've seen in the last few days in terms of how we we're talking yesterday we did this? Call in across the country and the thing that kept coming up as we're all in this together. Are you encouraged by that? I I really am and I think you know Crises like this can either pit people against each other or pull us together and I have seen in Canada. This incredible pulling together. You know even in my own team where you can imagine the tension that's going on as we try to make these extremely difficult decisions in very rapid time to arrive at a solution. Sometimes that's obviously imperfect and even my own team pulled together in times of incredible tension where you how oftentimes have portfolios that have opposite goals in some ways in this crisis and I've been so encouraged by the capacity of Canadians to keep coming back together and having these difficult conversations together the small businesses in the community that are you know banding together to figure out ways that they can survive and also meet. This need In the community for all kinds of things that are now going to go on for awhile. Let's talk about what's happening in this country. We hear constantly the urge to flatten curve. Yesterday Theresa Tab. The officer said it's not just flattening the curve. We need to plank. The curve are Canadians doing enough yet to stop the spread of this virus. It's really hard for me to generalize like that and I won't because I can't see into every community I can't see into every corner of Canada but by by and large yes what Canadians are doing are listening to their public. Health officials and that is the most important part of this. You know people are are confused somewhat. There's different you know recommendations coming from a local public health unit versus provincial publicly. The healthy and we're all working really hard to make sure that our our messages unified but they will be slightly different depending on the particular region. You're in depending on the particular activity of the virus. The epidemiology is very very important but my message to Canadians. Keep listening to your public health officials. They will tell you what you need to do to keep your family safe and to keep your community safe and by and large. We're seeing that Canadians are doing that. Why are those? Are Those different recommendations. We were speaking about this earlier this week on the program. Andre Picard was here health from the global mail talking about the need for a unified message that in some areas daycares are open in other areas. Daycares reclosed people have different interpretations of what social distancing means? Why are there different recommendations in different bits of guidance being offered? Well I'll say there's from my perspective three reasons one. We are a province. Where are we are a country where there are provinces who have jurisdiction over health and so they all have their own medical officers of health and they all are working with their own epidemiology of their particular province and their own particular guidances? This is guided by the way at the federal level through something called the special committee. I don't know exactly the name. But anyways Theresa tem leads comedian chief public health officers across the country and they work to to to solidify that guidance. So that's one reason though is because there are different jurisdictions the second reason I think is because the epidemiology is not the same all across the country. I think you know the third reason is this is relatively new using social distancing. I can't remember a time when we've had to do this. Approach to a public health crisis. It's one hundred years since our last huge pandemic in this way You know this. This is a new a new. I guess a new a very old new tool a very old tool that we have not had to use in recent times and so people are learning as we go including including from other countries. And so. That's that's part of why you're seeing some distance but I will also say that as much distance as it might feel when I look at it from a national perspective. People are more or less falling in line. If I can just say one last thing daycares. It's really important that people have a place to care for their children as they're going to the hospitals to provide care as they're going into retail stores to make sure that we can still get grocery so provinces in local public health units are working really diligently to figure out a way to do that safely but also keep those essential workers all those people that are going to the pharmacy going to the retail stores. Making sure the lights are kept on that. They have a place to care for their children. One of the things that we have heard in one of the reasons why those directors are important is because healthcare workers and hospital administrators are concerned that are hospitals aren't going to be able to cope with the surge that is coming the surge. That's on our doorstep. What are you hearing from those frontline workers? Well obviously I'm hearing You know anxiety a lot of anxiety from whether we're talking about doctors or nurses or other allied professionals about what may happen. Should they see a surge but I'm also working very closely with the ministers of health who are preparing for that surge in their own jurisdictions and part of that work is happening at the provincial level and part of it's happening at the local level at the federal level? We're trying to support all that work. My making access to cash and two things as quickly as we possibly can but part of the work is also really clearing out hospitals for what might happen. So you're seeing across the country. People postponing things like elective surgeries You know clearing out the hospital from non essential. I shouldn't say non essential but non urgent kinds of care and looking for alternative levels of care so that they can actually be ready. I the local example. I have is in my own community and I talked to October. Chief-of-staff yesterday as a matter of fact just to check in as a local. Mp doing my job is local MP and his name is Dr Zaki and he assured me that that work is happening right now and as a matter of fact I don't know if it call it a silver lining but he's saying the emergency room is less busy than it's ever been because the province has been setting up all kinds of alternative screening measures and the hospital has off sites Like a separate Unit that they can screen outside of the emergency room and thirdly he said he thinks that there's a lower incidence of urgent care because people aren't going anywhere so there's less vehicle collisions and there's less there's less accidents. The other side of that is you said is is that hospitals have to make choices about what they're doing and doctors have to make choices about the procedures that that they undertake heavy. Listen yesterday on our call in We heard from a woman named Nancy. She was supposed to have surgery It has now been told that it's been canceled for the time. Being have listened to her. I've tried to keep it together. I had experience as a result of covert nineteen not not worried about the virus itself. I although I am sixty six but We could go. I wouldn't I was a near nose throat surge about side. He told me that. I have a solitary gland tumor in the upper palate. Needs to come out. It's tested nine. But there's still a twenty percent chance of cancer so my surgery was a pretty promptly this Monday. Yesterday I received word that it's been canceled just looking at email from this morning because I know my surgeon is tried to go to bat for me has since his assistant But they say that it province wide shutdown not just now but all cheerio and they were given certain guidelines that they are happy to pull penny. Hi Do what goes through your mind when you hear that caller well first of all. I hear the anguish. Nancy's voice and I mean I i. I can only imagine the anxiety that she's feeling. I mean what really stood out for me is that there's a twenty percent chance that this might be cancer and she's worried about that. Obviously and these are the kinds of things. We've come to count on in our healthcare system that we can. We can get the treatment that's appropriate for us. As diagnosed by our physicians are experts. Do you think that Canadians should expect healthcare professionals to have to make more choices like that in the days ahead? I think if we don't flatten the curve absolutely I think that There are going to be choices like an even more horrible ones as we see people get sicker and sicker. I don't think Anyone's not watching the news obsessively and reading articles obsessively and I am also privileged to hearing ministers of health for all across the g seven countries every single week and last week the Minister of from Italy the Minister of Health from Italy. I could barely hold back my tears and the g seven call us. He talked about the excruciating choices that physicians were making Whether or not someone was going.

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