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Ottawa Family Physician Public Health Network

Subject Matter

The City of Ottawa’s Public Health Unit and the Family Medicine Department of the University of Ottawa commissioned Phoenix to help conduct a census survey of family physicians in Ottawa. The purpose was to put in place a rapid communication infrastructure, and to temporarily expand the Public Health workforce in the event of a serious respiratory epidemic or some other public health emergency. Specifically, the survey was designed to assess levels of preparedness to deal with public health situations, the degree of interest in potential measures that support the ability of family physicians to respond, office resources that could be available in the event of a public health emergency, preferred methods for notification in a public health emergency, willingness to provide assistance in an emergency situation, levels of interest in types of information, and interest in a website on Ottawa public health issues.


A self-administered survey was sent by fax to all family physicians in Ottawa. In total, 676 physicians were contacted and sent the survey. Of that, 274 physicians responded: 246 completed the questionnaire and 34 declined to participate. This represents a response rate of 41%. Based on a sample of this size, the results can be considered to be accurate to within +/-4.99%, 19 times out of 20 (finite population factor applied). In advance of the survey, a set of two focus groups was conducted with family physicians to pre-test the questionnaire and explore related issues.

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