Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
I'll tell you that the more I read about this, I get worried. It seems that humankind may have, what, only 70 or 80 years where these drugs are effective? They have been game-changers.
I want to thank all of you, because it is a huge issue and it's not getting the attention it needs. It's an issue not only here on the ground in Canada, but internationally. It affects everything from livestock to feedstocks. I'm going to try to ask you some uncomfortable questions. I hope you don't mind, but you're the experts and you're here.
Doug mentioned a really good point with our last round of witnesses, which is that sometimes in the practice of medicine or health care on the ground, people get into their prescribing habits and things along those lines.
Dr. Morris, I think you brought up the opioid crisis. Here at the federal level last year we brought up the topic. We got experts in and all that stuff, and what has happened in Canada? This past year, there were more prescriptions instead of fewer. You're here. This is a federal committee, and what we want to hear from you is what the federal government should do. Should the federal government be using more of a heavy stick here? I think it was David Cameron who called “on the governments of the richest countries” of the world “to mandate now that by 2020, all antibiotic prescriptions will need to be informed by up-to-date surveillance information and a rapid diagnostic test wherever one exists.”
You mentioned the dentists, who aren't here to defend their prescribing practice, but we have three organizations here that are hugely important and have a role to play. What would you tell these guys sitting next to you about what they should be doing? Also, what should the government be doing? How far should they be going with the carrot-and-the-stick type of thing?