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LETTER: Understanding COVID-19 infection control policies

From reader Andrew Murray, MD

Some citizens have serious concerns about COVID-19 vaccinations and about measures instituted by B.C. public health authorities to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Some obviously do not trust the system and its recommendations.

Some fear that important information is being kept away from the public, or that the so-called “big pharma” influences public health decisions or that physicians are being prevented from raising legitimate concerns. I think that if the public is better informed about how medical and health care systems really functions, then there will be sufficient trust.

In 2019 there were 697 medical microbiology and infections diseases specialists and 503 public health and preventive medicine specialists in Canada. These specialists have four years MD training plus five years of specialist training. Canadian medical schools are highly regarded; four were rated in 2019 to be in top-50 medical schools globally. These numerous highly trained, very expert and committed specialist physicians do not share the above mentioned concerns.

There is a handful who promote opposing views; they are vastly outnumbered by experts with excellent credentials and expertise. These specialists, along with other physicians and experts from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), work alongside each other in academic, professional and provincial, national and international organizations and committees. They critically assess and analyze the vast amount of research and epidemiological data that is produced daily in Canada and elsewhere.

The work of each of these physicians are subject to review of the provincial Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons whose mandate is to serve the public by ensuring that B.C.’s physicians are qualified, competent and fit to practice medicine. The BCCDC is a world-class organization providing “provincial and national leadership in disease surveillance, detection, treatment, prevention and consultation.” These specialist physicians inform and advise the B.C. Ministry of Health and the provincial health officer (the senior B.C. public health official), about health issues including of course COVID-19 issues.

Canada has a responsible, robust and trustworthy medical system. It is mind-boggling that some believe that the medical professionals, the politicians, the media and “big pharma” all co-operate in a vast plot to deceive the public.

Physicians would not stand for this. B.C. citizens can confidently trust the advice provided by medical and public health professionals. Citizens can very safely discount what is written and said by people who say that B.C.’s vaccination and public health measures are unnecessary or harmful.

Andrew Murray MBChB, CCFP, MClSc (FamMed)

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