Survey: many physicians rendered anxious by the equipment of protection

Sondage: bien des médecins rendus anxieux par les équipements de protection

28 April 2020 13h47

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Survey: many physicians rendered anxious by the equipment of protection

Laura Osman

The canadian Press

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OTTAWA – The canadian medical Association (CMA) has called for greater transparency of the authorities about the availability of personal protective equipment in hospitals and clinics.

A recent poll conducted for the CMA to 2500 physicians across Canada revealed that 42 % of the respondents had noticed any change over the last month in the provision of equipment such as masks and visors; 29% of respondents felt the same that the offer was worse now. The other hand, 22 % of respondents say that there has been a certain improvement in the supply of equipment, but only 6 % reporting a significant change.

This is the second survey of its kind conducted by the CMA since the beginning of the pandemic. The first survey had collected responses from physicians at the end of the month of march, while the most recent survey was completed a week ago – the 20 and 21 April.

“We expected improvement, but a third of the doctors – as in the previous survey -, still fear of a lack of personal protective equipment in the days that follow,” said CMA president, dr. Sandy Buchman. These worries were slightly more pronounced in the physician than in physicians in the hospitals, he said.

The uncertainty with regard to the limited supplies of protective equipment is in addition to the concerns related to the infection itself, was recalled by Mr. Buchman: 96 % of doctors surveyed argued that they were experiencing a certain level of anxiety. The doctors fear they may become vectors of the virus and transmit it to patients, become ill themselves or, worse still, passing it on to their loved ones, said Dr. Buchman.

The vast majority – 88 % – said that a greater supply of protective equipment would reduce their anxiety during the pandemic, and 68 % felt that it would be useful to have more information on this topic.

The federal government has provided public information sessions on its current orders for more masks, gowns, gloves, and other protective equipment in a highly competitive market abroad, as well as efforts to reorganize the national production.

Dr. Buchman acknowledges that the government is working very hard to acquire what is necessary to fight the COVID-19. But he argues that the doctors would like to get accurate information on when these devices will arrive in hospitals and clinics, which may allay their anxieties.

The survey showed some minor improvements. Throughout the country, 33 % of physicians surveyed said that they would have enough surgical masks to last at least 10 days, compared to only 20 % three weeks ago. Doctors have reported improvements similar to the gloves, gowns, face shields and N95 masks.

A majority of physicians – 83 percent – said that an increase in the detection of the virus would appease their anxieties.

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