Recently, medical emergencies, such as SARS, Avian Influenza and the West Nile Virus, have been grabbing the headlines of local and international news. Our community is not immune to medical emergencies. The Emergency Management Office works closely with Richmond Health Services to mitigate, plan for and respond to such incidents.
Richmond Health Services includes Richmond Hospital, The Richmond Health Department, and community based health services such as Extended Care Facilities, Home Care Nursing, and Mental Health Services
Many issues that affect the community can trigger a response from Richmond Health Services such as the following:
- Disasters or emergencies resulting in increased numbers of people seeking medical attention.
- Communicable disease outbreaks such as Influenza (the “flu”) and Norwalk, or outbreaks resulting from ingestion of contaminated food or water.
- Emergency reception centres requiring assistance in safe food handling practices or counselling services from Mental Health Staff.
Richmond Health Services has both Hospital and Community Emergency Response Plans that prescribe a response protocol should the need arise. These plans are created in consultation with The City of Richmond to ensure a coordinated community response.
The Hospital has contingency plans to deal with situations ranging from a large influx of patients, to precautionary measures on the admission of highly infectious individuals to minimize the risk to other patients.
Community Health contingency plans emphasize taking health care into the community. Suspect food or water supplies may require investigation and sampling. Communicable disease tracking and surveillance programs may be undertaken. Immunization clinics may be required to immunize large numbers of people to protect against outbreaks of infectious disease.
The public can also protect themselves from infectious disease by taking the following precautions:
- Wash hands often, and always after using the washroom or preparing and eating food.
- Get a flu shot every year.
- Avoid public places when ill.
- In the event of an outbreak, stay informed and follow the advice of health care providers.
If you have questions or concerns regarding Richmond Health Services Emergency Response please call 604-233-3147 and your inquiry will be routed to the appropriate person.