Ontario’s outgoing chief medical officer said the province “did well” during the rapidly evolving pandemic.
Ontario’s retiring chief health officer defended his tenure during the COVID-19 pandemic in an extensive departure interview from CBC NationwideIt is not always clear to critics that the complexity of the thorny issues facing the government is not always clear to critics. If it were not for the early hiccups of the world’s vaccine launch, the province’s third wave might have been cancelled.
Dr. David Williams talked with host Andrew Chang and discussed how he views his work, the goals set at the beginning of the pandemic, the difficult decisions the province must make, and the criticism of his performance, including those from Ontario for COVID-19 Criticism of other doctors in the scientific consultation form.
He said: “They can do whatever they want, but not everyone agrees at the table.” “This is the science table. You have a group of doctors in the room. They almost never agree. This intense discussion is fair.”
When the third wave of pandemic hit in March, the government of Governor Doug Ford and Williams were widely criticized. Critics say that as the second wave faded, they moved too fast to reopen.
Eventually, the province was forced to re-block and close schools in April due to the overcrowding of hospitals.
Williams said: “These are not easy decisions. These are major decisions that the government does not have to make for a long time.”
Williams also defended the province’s response in the early stages of the pandemic.
“What I want to say is that we responded with the evidence and information we had at the time. We conducted extensive consultations [as] At that time, we could be in a rapidly evolving global situation without a plan at all. I think we did a good job at the time. Is there anything we can do better? We welcome this opinion. We were very welcome. At that time we needed to listen to the opinions of these experts. We conducted extensive consultations from the beginning. “
Williams points to interruption of vaccine rollout
Williams said that the vaccine shortage will help the third wave. He said that between the second and third wave, vaccination “stopped fairly smoothly for three weeks” because the supply of Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca-Oxford was interrupted for different reasons.
He said that if it hadn’t happened, the province could have “repressed the third wave quite extensively.”
At the beginning of the pandemic, Williams said that he sat down with Dr. Barbara Yafei, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health, to plan “where will we end” when the pandemic will end.
Based on data at the time, there may be 2.5 to 3.5 million people in Ontario who tested positive for the virus in the first year. 6% of infected people could have been admitted to the hospital for treatment, and this number would overwhelm the hospital system. “We said 150 to 200,000 people died,” he said.
He said that they set three goals-reducing mortality, morbidity and social disorder. As of Wednesday, the number of deaths due to COVID-19 in Ontario was 9,093.
Williams said that he listened to the criticism of doctors at the scientific table, but he believes that many complex issues are not always obvious when making a decision.
Williams says the successor is in a good position
Williams was originally scheduled to retire a few months ago, but the move was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that due to the presence of the provincial public health team, his successor, Dr. Kieran Moore, In a good position in the new position.
Moore has served as the health and medical officer of Kingston, Frontnack and Lennox and Addington Public Health, and will succeed Williams on Saturday.
Williams urged local health officials to fully support Moore. Williams said the province needs to be careful next year because the feared variants of COVID-19 may appear at any time.
He said the lessons learned from the deadly SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak in 2003 will help guide the province’s response to the pandemic when Ontario reopens. In that outbreak, a total of 44 Canadians died.
“At this time we have a very good team. When we enter the recovery mode, this will be very important because of what we have learned from SARS. If you turn off the switch too fast, you may regret it. We are dealing with randomness. With a global pandemic, many problems have occurred in many countries, and mutations may occur at any time,” Williams said.
He said an important lesson is that the province will have to invest in recovery as it did in response to the pandemic.
Williams has served in his position for more than five years. He said that “ethical advice” is an important quality of this work because it involves reporting to Ford, Secretary of Health Christine Elliott, and other members of the Ontario Cabinet Provided advice, but was supported by the Ontario Cabinet. Health and medical officials from 34 public health units.
“There is a strong central spokesperson to speak [the medical officers of health’s] Representation in government is crucial. Their job is to let him understand any nuances or problems as much as possible. This is the dynamic consulting process. “
Williams has mixed emotions before retirement
Williams said that he said he felt “a lot of mixed emotions” about the end of his job, but he thinks he is in a good position to leave the province because of the key indicators-the number of cases, the number of hospitalizations, the occupancy rate of the intensive care unit and The number of hospitalized ventilators-is declining.
He said that retirement will be a big adjustment, just like he has been “stepping out of the treadmill” for the past year and a half.
“I have always been very busy and need to contact, coordinate, promote, and provide advice. From all day to night,” he said.
Williams has served as Chief Health Officer since February 16, 2016. Prior to this, he served as the interim chief health officer for about half a year, and from October to June 2011 as the health officer of the Thunder Bay District Health Bureau from 2015 and 1991 to 2005.
“The key part is to allow the people around you, the leadership and the broader government to come forward and deal with this situation,” he said of his leadership style.
Williams, Some people criticized him for being too submissive to Ford, Said the Ontario government sought his opinion and did not silence him at the press conference. He said that people had open discussions about his suggestions, and that he and Ford respected each other.
“I feel honored to be able to provide such advice,” he said. “They adopted 95% of my suggestions and asked for more relevant information. I am very happy with their responsiveness and acceptance, and in many cases actually received and hoped to receive my suggestions, even those I did not prepare Good position, we must prepare a position on this matter.”