OHS Canada Magazine

Canadian Medical Association urges federal government to protect health-care workers


OTTAWA — The Canadian Medical Association is asking the federal government to fulfil its promise to support health-care employees amid continuing online harassment of physicians and other workers.

The medical association is also calling on social media companies to address harassment and threats made on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Association president Dr. Katharine Smart says in a statement that health professionals have advocated for the public’s well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they are at risk of being silenced by “harmful, hateful and bullying behaviour.”

The association says that along with legislation and “responsible management” of social media platforms, the public’s help is also needed to ensure the safety of health-care workers.

During the federal election campaign, the Liberals pledged to introduce new criminal sanctions for those who intimidate or harass health-care workers, as well as for anyone blocking access to vaccine clinics, hospitals, testing centres and abortion clinics.

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The promises came as protesters gathered outside hospitals in opposition to proof-of-vaccination requirements and other public health measures.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.


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