For greater than 10 years earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Canadian public well being officers knew there have been issues with how the nation managed its emergency medical stockpile – however didn’t act.
In a brand new report issued Wednesday, Auditor Normal Karen Hogan mentioned that failure to repair the issues forward of time meant Canada was not as ready because it might have been for the surge in demand for treasured private protecting tools final yr.
“The audit discovered that on the onset of the pandemic, PHAC lacked a number of the techniques and practices it wanted to correctly handle and function the nation’s stockpile of emergency tools,” Hogan wrote in her report.
“The Company had recognized for over a decade that these points existed. Because of this, it was not as ready because it might have been to reply to the elevated demand for private protecting tools and medical units that got here from the provinces and territories.”
READ MORE: Canada’s efforts to purchase pandemic PPE to be assessed by auditor basic
Grim discovery: B.C. household on hike finds dozens of severed bear paws
10 issues it’s good to learn about B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan
However she mentioned regardless of these challenges, the Public Well being Company of Canada (PHAC) was capable of act shortly as soon as the pandemic hit and procure crucial gear, akin to N95 respirators, medical robes, testing swabs and ventilators for the provinces and territories.
Hogan mentioned what was key to the company’s adaptation was shortly pivoting to a bulk-buy technique and rushing up high quality assurances whereas Well being Canada streamlined its licensing software course of. Essential to that was the help from Public Companies and Procurement Canada, which Hogan famous moved shortly to shift to bulk shopping for amid the worldwide uncertainty.
“The division accepted some dangers with a purpose to procure massive portions of apparatus in a market the place the provision couldn’t at all times meet demand,” she wrote of the procurement technique.
“In any other case, fewer items of apparatus would have been obtainable to provinces and territories.”
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland in contrast the worldwide marketplace for private protecting tools to the “Wild West” within the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coronavirus outbreak: Freeland says world PPE state of affairs is just like the ‘wild west’
View hyperlink »
© 2021 International Information, a division of Corus Leisure Inc.