Are private clinics well versed in sanitization?

"When you get into the private clinics and facilities of that nature, it appears we don't have the same kind of oversight and regulatory environment as hospitals," Douglas Angus, a health economist and professor at the University of Ottawa's school of management told the CBC.

Infection concerns were raised this past week when 6,800 people were sent registered letters informing them a private clinic in ottawa didn't always follow infection prevention and cleaning protocols for endoscopic equipment.

"I look at this [the Ottawa clinic situation] as a wakeup call and I would think governments across the country should be saying that this is something we should be taking a careful look at," says Angus.

Dr. Michael Gardam, director of infection prevention and control with Toronto's University Health Network, told the broadcaster that "if you're opening a clinic, the onus is on the owner of the clinic to make sure they follow proper sanitation practices. One of the challenges is that as a doctor, no one teaches you this stuff."

"Patients are well within their right to ask if their equipment is sanitized appropriately, and [clinic staff] may say yes, but they may not know much about it. If you're a doctor who is about to strike out on your own and open a new clinic, while you're busy picking out your office furniture, remember there's a huge chunk of [opening a clinic] — and that is equipment reprocessing … and that is the piece that can slip through the cracks," Dr. Gardam adds. 

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