- The SARS epidemic raised tremendous challenges for the Canadian health system, challenges for which the country was not adequately prepared. Due to the serious consequences of this outbreak in terms of lives lost, medical, social and economical losses, the Canadian government has ordered the formation of a national commission to conduct a comprehensive and impartial investigation of these events. In addition, the Canadian Minister of Health has established the National Advisory Committee on SARS and Public Health with a mandate to "provide an assessment of current public health efforts and lessons learned for ongoing and future infectious disease control". Over a period of several months, these committees have thoroughly investigated all aspects of the events, which have led to this inadequate preparedness. In this article, we summarize the committee's conclusions, which are of direct relevance for the Israeli health care system. Hopefully, these important short and long term lessons, learnt by the Canadian at such a high cost, may be implemented locally, thus enabling better control and prevention of similar future threats caused by emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.