Executive summary

Three years of COVID-19 have reinforced the devastating impact pandemics can have on individuals, families, businesses, the health care system and partners from the public health sector. While Ontario has done well overall, like all jurisdictions we were largely unprepared for a serious outbreak that would last years.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health’s 2022 Annual Report, Being Ready, is a call to take key lessons from the pandemic, as well as H1N1 and SARS, to ensure Ontario is ready for any future outbreak or pandemic, whenever it might occur.

Echoing previous public health reports, this report calls for an end to the “boom and bust” cycle of funding, where investments in public health are increased following major events but subsequently taper off as time passes.

With continued investments in public health preparedness, Ontario can build and maintain its health system and its community and societal readiness to respond to future challenges.

Recommendations in the report include:

  • continuing to build a skilled, adaptable and resilient health care workforce as well as investing in scientific expertise, technologies, systems, supplies, and other resources we need to detect and manage outbreaks
  • ensuring all communities and settings, especially those facing health and social inequities, are supported through collaborative partnerships to be resilient and have better health outcomes during future outbreaks
  • continuing to build social trust, counter misinformation, and help people understand how and why decisions are made while providing the information and tools they need protect themselves and those around them
  • routine collection of sociodemographic data and community-based efforts to reduce health inequities which, as COVID-19 has proven, can help ensure more equitable outbreak and pandemic responses
  • ongoing assessment and reporting on the state of Ontario’s pandemic preparedness through future Chief Medical Officer of Health reports

In addition to ongoing assessment, the report commits to:

  • examining ways to strengthen accountabilities for preparedness
  • working with Indigenous, Black and other racialized peoples to improve health inequities
  • sustaining the relationships within the public health system and with health sector colleagues


If you require this information in an alternative format, please contact CMOH@ontario.ca. We will:

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