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Ebola preparedness plan for Quebec hospitals ready, Gaétan Barrette says

10/20/2014 11:40 EDT | Updated 12/20/2014 05:59 EST
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The province is ready for any case of Ebola on the territory, Health Minister Gaétan Barrette and Public Health Director Horacio Arruda said on Monday.

They held a news conference in Montreal on Monday to outline the steps the province has taken to ensure the health care system is ready and able to handle any possible case of Ebola.

Two hospitals in Quebec have been designated for the treatment for all suspected Ebola cases: Notre-Dame Hospital for adults and Ste-Justine Hospital for children.

Barrette and Arruda said the province has stepped up medical staff training and airport screening measures. They also said a centralized unit will take care of distributing special supplies and equipment.

"The risk is extremely low, but once you get it, you have to be ready and we are," Barrette said.

He said he felt the protocols for hospital workers were clear enough, but that communication with paramedics had "not been perfect."

Last week representatives with the paramedics' union said members didn't feel prepared to deal with Ebola and that they hadn't received enough training. 

There have been 11 suspected cases of Ebola treated in the province since the outbreak began in West Africa in April. All 11 cases tested negative.

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