Making Medicare:  The History of Health Care in Canada, 1914-2007 Back to Timeline Back to Timeline
History: 19892007 SAVING THE SYSTEM: THE CANADA HEALTH ACT, THE OTTAWA CHARTER AND ACHIEVING HEALTH FOR ALL, 19781988 THE ENDLESS CHALLENGE: BALANCING CHANGE AND CONTINUITY, 19892007



External Threats: Terrorism and Infectious Disease

But external events also affected the pace of change in the Canadian health care system. The attacks of September 11, 2001 and their aftermath raised the spectre of bioterrorism and Canada had to respond to the threat of anthrax and smallpox in 2002. An even more deadly enemy, SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), appeared in March 2003. The outbreak was focused in Ontario and demonstrated the impact of budget cuts on both the curative and preventive systems. As a result of the report of the National Advisory Committee on SARS and Public Health led by Dr. David Naylor, the federal government created the Public Health Agency of Canada, which brought together the public health components of Health Canada with disease control and emergency planning experts under the direction of a junior minister of state. When the Public Health Agency began its work in 2004, it focused attention on health promotion and population health until the need for pandemic planning — in light of the threat of avian influenza — came to the forefront in 2005–2006.

Photo: This N95 respirator, or mask, standard protection against respiratory infections in 2003

This N95 respirator, or mask, standard protection against respiratory infections in 2003, proved insufficient when it came to protecting health care workers and patients against SARS in Ontario.
Private collection



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    Date Created: March 31, 2010 | Last Updated: April 21, 2010