Health system failed workers during SARS

Commission on Ontario’s handling of outbreak found systemic failure
By Uyen Vu
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 01/22/2007

Ontario’s health-care system was woefully unprepared to deal with an infectious disease such as SARS. And one of its major failures was its inability to protect its workers, a provincial commission into the 2003 outbreak has found.

Of the more than 350 people who contracted SARS in Ontario, 72 per cent were infected in a health-care setting. Of this group, 45 per cent were health-care workers. In all, 44 people died, including two nurses and one doctor.

The report released early this month was the third and final produced by Justice Archie Campbell, who was commissioned by Ontario to look into the way the province handled the virulently contagious, flu-like virus known as severe acute respiratory syndrome.