Health and Community Services
November 15, 2018

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable John Haggie, Minister of Health and Community Services:

World Antibiotic Awareness Week Recognized in the House of Assembly

Mr. Speaker, the World Health Organization has declared November 12 to 18 World Antibiotic Awareness Week.

Antibiotics are used to prevent infections and illnesses. When antibiotic resistance develops, the antibiotics we use may not work for some or fail entirely. This means that conditions, like pneumonia or strep throat, become untreatable.

The number one cause of increased antibiotic resistance is overuse or inappropriate prescribing for prevention or treatment. Here in Newfoundland and Labrador, antibiotic usage is the highest in the country.

Through the Provincial Antimicrobial Stewardship Committee and ongoing work by our partners, Quality of Care NL and Choosing Wisely NL, we are seeing positive behavior changes in prescribing patterns. This past year, we have decreased usage by nine per cent.

All health care professionals have the tools and resources at their fingertips to help encourage more conversations with patients. One of the themes of World Antibiotic Awareness Week is Think Twice. Seek Advice. I encourage people to take the time to have a conversation with their doctor to determine whether the antibiotic you are being prescribed is in fact the best course of action

By working together and learning to use antibiotics responsibly, we can help prevent antibiotic resistance.

We can ensure the right treatment, gets to the right patient, at the right time.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

2018 11 15                              1:50 p.m.