Friday, 27 May 2022

Coronavirus: Canadian doctors call for smarter use of medical gear amid supply concerns

The Canadian government is procuring a “bulk” stockpile of medical supplies amid concerns about a looming shortage that may leave frontline health care workers ill-equipped to confront the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government is seeking suppliers to provide a range of critical items, including surgical masks, gloves and goggles, which help protect the nurses and doctors who treat contagious patients.

The search for suppliers also coincides with concerns that some of the existing equipment in Canadian hospitals is going missing, without explanation.

Dr. Sohail Gandhi, president of the Ontario Medical Association, told Global News that he has heard some “isolated stories” of medical professionals who are requesting more equipment.

“We need to make sure that we use protect personal protective equipment, or PPE, in the appropriate manner,” Gandhi said.

Apart from surgical masks and gloves, PPE could also include N95 respirators, face shields, isolation gowns and coveralls.

Gandhi said there have been reports of medical professionals using supplies when it’s not always necessary. He gave the example of family doctors.

“In my family practice, what we’ve done is we’ve moved to virtual care, and we’re screening people before they come in,” he said. “We’re calling them and asking them the appropriate questions.”

For other doctors, wearing protective equipment is far from optional, he said.

“If someone’s working in a screening centre where they’re swabbing people for COVID-19, and other illnesses, they need PPE,” Gandhi explained.

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