Ontario’s plan to contain second wave needs a dose of primary care engagement

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  • Wayne Martin says:

    I am a veterinarian serving on the Board of a local city health centre and fully agree with this article. Despite the importance of hospitals in delivering health care much preventive and therapeutic activity would be better moved “upstream” to local physicians and physician teams. This is especially true in combatting CoVid-19

  • Barb says:

    I always believed that primary care physicians have a strong role in “prevention” of medical disorders. I am wondering why nobody is talking about common sense strategies to educate people about immune system strengthening – you know make sure they have adequate nutrition and vitamin intake, check their vitamin D status, encourage supplementation with vitamin D and zinc? This should be the prime time for doctor’s to call in the vulnerable for full system health exams and make sure that any gaps are met. Why is nobody talking about these factors publicly? The message the media is sending is “COVID will kill you, wear a mask”, we know how to manage this disease. People have been getting ARDS from influenza and other respiratory infections in the past. One of the best strategies right now, aside from hand hygiene, would be to educate people how to maximize their physical potential. How to strengthen their immune system. Is anyone in primary care even concerned that there are people who have been out of work for months? how are they supposed to afford nutritious foods and vitamin supplements? Does primary care not concern itself with nutrition and general well being?

  • Richard Fralick says:

    Thank you Dr Alam and Dr Nowak for explaining the role that primary care Physicians can and will play in the second wave of COVID-19. Engagement with, investment in, and reliable service from primary care will make a difference in this next wave. This requires a conscious change in the approach of Ontario’s leaders.

  • Joy Hataley says:

    Very well said Drs.Alam and Nowak!
    We are well served to find the balance between resourcing primary and tertiary care. We would be wise to also seek the balance between maintaining capacity in the healthcare system and protecting our economic and social well-being, both key determinants of health.

    • Umesh Prasad Bhattarai says:

      Exactly. This is what our healthcare leaders should analyze and act. In the mean time, what about the role of other healthcare professionals? How can we apply these strategies with other frontline workers? These are the interesting topics to debate. The top priority should be to deliver efficient health care even during the pandemic. Well said Dr. Alam and Dr. Nowak. Hope to read more from you in the future.

  • Wendy Nicklin says:

    I strongly support the position in this article. Primary care is truly the core of our ‘system’ and it must be acknowledged that they must play a much more prominent role in strategies regarding the coronavirus going forward.


Nadia Alam


Dr. Nadia Alam enjoys a busy life in Georgetown, Ont., as a mom of four, a writer, a family doctor and anesthetist, the president-elect of the Ontario Medical Association, and candidate for a masters in health economics, policy and management (LSE).

Dominik Alex Nowak


Dominik Alex Nowak, MD MHSc CCFP, is a family physician, health systems strategist, and faculty member at the University of Toronto.

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