Over the last year, you have heard me speak to the collaborative nature of the ACFP and our continued efforts working alongside family physician leaders and community practitioners at consultation tables and working groups. We continue to bring your voice and values to each arena; making sure our suggestions and contributions are patient-centred and are well-rooted in evidence.
Despite our active involvement, we are often unaware if our recommendations or concerns are considered until a decision is announced. For instance, we were not consulted with prior to the recent decision to rapidly lift the public health orders and programs to limit transmission of the Sars -CoV-2 virus in community. The removal of the restriction exemption program and masking in schools, amid high hospitalizations and high positivity rates are concerning.
We have, and continue to, strongly advocate for the well-being of all our patients and the effect COVID-19 has on the most vulnerable populations; children under five who have not had the opportunity to be vaccinated, the unvaccinated, the elderly, and the immunocompromised who are at risk of serious illness.
No matter what the situation, the ACFP will remain collaborative, especially in the development of an overarching, long-term plan for managing the pandemic. We know that as testing and outpatient treatments are transferred to the community, family physicians will need increased supports. The outpatient management of acute COVID-19, the treatment of long covid, and dealing with the ever-expanding care deficit, will need to be supported by an integrated, evidence-based plan with all partners in the system.
We are all tired of the pandemic, but please know that the ACFP will not tire of advocating for transparent plans and decision making. We support you, your practices, and the communities in which you live and work.
Sudha Koppula BSc, MD, MClSc, CCFP, FCFP
Alberta College of Family Physicians