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Chief Medical Officer of Health leading province’s public health response to flooding

June 26, 2013

To ensure that normal public health services resume as soon as possible for those affected by recent flooding, Alberta is consolidating public health resources under the responsibility of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and is bringing in extra public health inspectors from other provinces.

“This decision will ensure a single, co-ordinated public health response in Alberta with public health inspectors and other resources being deployed as efficiently as possible as we move into the recovery phase,” said Health Minister Fred Horne. “I have contacted my ministerial counterparts in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba – all of whom have offered their assistance by providing additional public health inspectors to Alberta. On behalf of our government, I thank them for their willingness to help us during these challenging times.”

As the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. James Talbot is the senior official responsible for public health in Alberta and reports directly to the Minister. Working with Alberta Health Services, he will ensure public health priorities are being addressed to bring public health services in affected communities back to normal. This includes implementation of the public health inspection plan, monitoring for diseases that are a current threat, providing public health information as Albertans return to their homes, and ensuring immunization schedules are kept up to date.

“This disaster is unique in its speed, its scale, and its scope in the number of people and communities harmed,” said Dr. Talbot. “One of the biggest public health challenges is an environment that is contaminated with waste water, so having more environmental health inspectors in place will help to speed up the recovery process. Through a co-ordinated public health response across the province, we can help to ensure every Albertan affected by the flood is protected from a public health perspective.”

Public health information related to the flood, including a booklet on returning home safely after flooding, is available at www.health.alberta.ca.

Our government was elected to keep building Alberta, to live within its means and to fight to open new markets for Alberta’s resources. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.

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Media inquiries may be directed to:
Kathy Kiel
Communications
Alberta Health
780-427-5482
780-554-8583 (cell)

To call toll free within Alberta dial 310-0000.

NT3