Health Minister Patty Hajdu said that Canada "likely did not have enough" medical equipment ready ahead of the global coronavirus pandemic in Ottawa on Tuesday.
"I think federal governments for decades have been under funding things like public health preparedness and I would say that obviously governments all across the world are in the same exact situation," said Hajdu.
Hospital equipment and important face masks and other medical equipment have been rationed in recent days, with Canadian companies having to repurpose to meet the demands.
"I have heard those stories myself from frontline workers; I know provinces and territories are developing different sets of rules for frontline workers around the dispersement and use of personal protective equipment," Hajdu said, adding that the government is pushing hard to build up its supply of PPE.
Other countries are also all over the market to purchase medical equipment, which is on low supply globally.
"We are working I would say 24 hours, around the clock, trying to procure equipment in a global situation where equipment is extremely tight," Hajdu said.
"Our government has the money, we have the will, we have the workforce, and everybody's focus is firmly on getting PPE."
Earlier today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked why the national emergency stockpile wasn't sufficient for the current pandemic, Trudeau said he "recognized the challenges" that front-line healthcare workers were facing.
"Countries around the world are trying to get more of these supplies, we are expecting to see more shipments coming in very shortly that will help in Canada ... And we are also working on tooling up our own production ... We are doing everything we can to meet the very real and pressing needs we have across this country ... We need our healthcare systems and workers to have the protection they need as they keep the rest of us safe."
When asked why a production act wasn't implemented in Canada, he noted that Canadian companies' responses have been "overwhelming" and that forcing companies wasn't necessary due to Canadian companies "stepping up."