An additional 500,000 units of children’s medicine will arrive in Canada over the next three weeks via foreign imports, the federal government announced Friday, as rising flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases put pressure on the health care system and on families. .
One million bottles of children’s medicine have already arrived this week via foreign imports and around 1.1 million units have been produced domestically so far in November, Health Minister Jean-Yves said on Friday. Duclos, at a press conference.
That 1.1 million is an increase from the 300,000 units that are normally produced at this time of year, Duclos told reporters.
“Production has doubled in the last few weeks,” he said. The one million imported units announced last week are arriving and being distributed to pharmacies, she said, adding that the new 500,000 units will include imports from Austria.
The federal government is under pressure to quickly remedy a months-long shortage of painkillers for children that worsened in the fall as hospitals and health care clinics across Canada battle a “multi-demic” of diseases.
The combination of circulating viruses has led to some ERs experiencing wait times of more than 20 hours and many pediatric intensive care units are over capacity. While RSV cases have “leveled off,” infections will remain elevated for weeks and Canada is experiencing a “sharp increase” in flu activity that disproportionately affects children and adolescents, said Dr. Theresa Tam, the main doctor in the country, in the press. conference.
The critics have question poseds about why it took the federal government until the fall to step up efforts to secure a larger supply of medicines for children. Conservatives asked the government in early October to allow the importation of medicines labeled in foreign languages. At the time, Duclos told CTVNews.ca that Health Canada “has reiterated its openness to all manufacturers to discuss mitigation options and explore all opportunities to accelerate or increase supplies, including reviewing proposals that may require regulatory flexibility.” or consideration of foreign supply”.
Before making holiday plans, Tam recommends that everyone get a flu shot, as it prevents serious illness and will help prevent the current strain of influenza from spreading. He also recommends wearing a face mask and staying home when he’s sick.
Health care employees are working overtime, and the Ontario government distributed a memo Wednesday asking family clinics to work nights and weekends to ease pressure on hospitals. The shortage of health workers, which health experts say is due to burnout, a lack of sick days and wage concerns, has left hospitals with fewer resources.
The lifting of pandemic restrictions has made immune systems more vulnerable and serious illness more likely, particularly for vulnerable groups, the doctors said. CTVNews.ca this week.
The flu is among the top 10 causes of death in Canada. Some 12,200 people end up in hospital each year due to the virus, and some 3,500 die annually as a result. according to the federal government.
Canada weekly flu report indicates that an influenza epidemic has begun and that there has been a “sharp increase” in influenza-associated hospitalizations among children. In the week ending November 12, there were 186 flu-associated hospitalizations nationwide.
In Friday’s update, officials also said that Health Canada has been working with platforms such as Amazon to ensure that inflated prices for children’s medicines do not occur.