Canada launches review of infection control programs

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Health and Wellness Minister Dave Hancock has requested a review of all infection control programs throughout the province.

Regional health authorities, the Alberta Cancer Board and all health professions that provide medical services will be included, including physicians and dentists.

Health region officials will be asked to begin an immediate and thorough review of infection prevention and control policies, systems and programs throughout their operations. This includes facilities that provide contracted services and all settings outside of health care facilities where services are provided by the region or on the region's behalf.

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"I believe that the most important role of government is that of assurance," said Minister Hancock. "This means being able to tell Albertans that health services are safe and that the system is managed and reviewed with the highest quality standards. We will accept nothing else."

Regulatory colleges and associations will be contacted early this week and asked for a similar review of facilities where their members practice, including private treatment centres.

Reports from health regions and health professions are expected to be provided to the Public Health Division of Alberta Health and Wellness by April 30, 2007.

"I am taking broader action on a province-wide basis to be proactive in assuring Albertans that our infection control procedures are of the highest possible standard," said Hancock. "The health system is complex and has many players. In order for it to work seamlessly and for the province to ensure health system accountability, we must put everything on the table."

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