With cases of H1N1 continuing to rise and the health system stretching to the limit, Ottawa Public Health is preparing to launch flu centres in the capital, Ottawa’s medical officer of health Dr. Isra Levy said over the weekend.
“We continue to see an increase in cases of H1N1 in Ottawa,” said Levy. “While most cases are mild, several of our partners in the health-care system have informed us that their capacity to deal with their caseload continues to be stretched.”
In a letter to the mayor and members of the board of health, Levy said Ottawa Public Health will work with health-care partners and community health centres to set up flu assessment centres throughout city.
The centres, which will be staffed by local doctors and health professionals who can assess and treat people with influenza-like illness, are intended as an alternative to local emergency rooms and are primarily for people who cannot access a family doctor and whose symptoms are not severe enough to require an emergency room consultation, Levy said.
“These centres are designed to provide assessment and care for ill people, not for vaccination of the well population,” Levy stated. “We are working with the clinic operators towards the clinics becoming operational soon.”
By the end of the weekend, the city had delivered more than 80,000 doses of the H1N1 vaccine.