Almost half of all doctors had to buy own PPE or rely on donations amid the COVID-19 pandemic
A new survey conducted by the British Medical Association (BMA) revealed distressing data.
Nearly half of the doctors have had to rely on themselves or donations from others to buy their own personal protective equipment (PPE).
In their survey, the BMA did acknowledge the fact that PPE supplies have improved, as reported by Independent. However, they claim that the responses of 16,343 doctors in England indicate there is still not enough done to protect healthcare workers.
This was the largest review of doctors held amid the coronavirus pandemic so far, according to the medical association. It was conducted between 28th and 30th April.
Shockingly, 48% of the respondents confessed they needed to either buy PPE directly for themselves, or they have been relying on charity donations.
What’s more, almost two-thirds of the hospital doctors admitted they didn’t feel protected enough during the pandemic. Besides, nearly 30% of them said they didn’t believe being vocal about PPE, staff shortages, testing, or drug shortages would help.
Along with the current PPE crisis, the survey also displays the negative effect coronavirus has on the frontline medics’ mental health. It shows that more than a quarter of the doctors were struggling with some sort of a mental health issue, such as depression and anxiety, which was severely worsened during the pandemic.
BMA’s council director, Dr. Chaand Nagpaul, criticized the British government by saying the survey was “a damning indictment of the government’s abject failure to make sure healthcare workers across the country are being supplied with the life-saving kit they should be”. He continued:
“There is still a lot for the government to do to protect its front line.”
While filling the optional space left for a comment, one of the reviewed doctors wrote that the PPE shortage had been “an outrage for all staff”.
Others admitted they were afraid to work on the frontline, as they had no NHS eye protection, but “only flimsy aprons and cheap surgical masks”.
The chief of BMA’s council also addressed the government, asking how it could be confident they had the pandemic under control, while the healthcare workers battling with the virus every day are “not being made safe”.
On Thursday, April 30th, the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, acknowledged there had been difficulties in securing enough PPE for all the frontline medics. However, he said that the authorities were doing everything possible and working constantly “to get it right”.