Source: The Canadian Press
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Forgo sick note from workers home with flu,
doctors advise employers
Ontario physicians are asking employers to reconsider asking
employees for a doctor's sick note if they are absent from work due
"In order to help reduce the transmission of H1N1 and other
illnesses, Ontario's doctors believe it is wise for patients to stay
home when they have flu-like symptoms," said Dr. Suzanne Strasberg,
president of the Ontario Medical Association.
"Employers need to recognize that by requiring a sick note, they are
encouraging those who are experiencing their worst symptoms and are
most infectious to go out, when they should just be home in bed,"
she said Friday in a statement.
At the same time, the OMA stresses that employees should not take
advantage of the pandemic flu as an excuse to simply take a day off
Those who have mild flu-like symptoms and no pre-existing illnesses
of concern should stay home to prevent others from getting infected
with the flu - especially those who may be vulnerable to potentially
severe complications due to underlying medical conditions.
Going to the doctor's office just to get a note or going to work
puts many others at risk, the OMA says.
While many patients with H1N1 or the seasonal flu will have a mild
case and recover without medical treatment, those who have a chronic
or pre-existing health condition, are in a high-risk population
group, or whose symptoms worsen should seek care from a health
professional, the doctors group says.
"Ontario's doctors know that there will be added pressures and
increased workload this flu season, but we are ready to care for and
treat our patients," Strasberg said. "It's important for everyone to
do as much as possible to help prevent the spread of the H1N1 flu
and reduce the strain on the health-care system."
"It's equally important that we continue to focus on patients who
need care, rather than those who just need a note."