More than 60 doctors have joined forces to launch a petition calling on the government to mount “a war-like effort” to assist frontline healthcare workers fighting COVID-19, sounding the alarm on already critical shortages of supplies and equipment.
The coalition of doctors led by Dr Melissa Yuan-Innes started the petition less than a day ago. It has already attracted 12,000 signatures.
The petition states, “Our front line health care workers are already running out of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as N95 masks, surgical masks, gloves, and gowns. We also need access to hoods, face shields, goggles, and other protective equipment. There is a critical shortage of COVID-19 test kits, ventilators, hand sanitizer, and medications that might treat COVID-19 patients. This is unacceptably dangerous for health care workers and, in turn, the public.”
The petition urges the government to explore several tactics including repurposing factories and skilled workers to produce dwindling supplies, and releasing any stockpiled personal protective equipment from the SARS epidemic — even if it has expired.
The petition also stresses the importance of every individual to self-isolate.
“I’m a doctor and I don’t want to leave my child an orphan. Please let us treat the population with the right equipment. No one would ask a firefighter to work without the right equipment. Please help us help the population and fight this,” said Maya Atallah, Montreal, a petition signer.
“I am a nurse working at a downtown hospital and I am being pressured not to use a mask. Counting masks. The crisis is at the beginning and we are here already. I passed by the HIV crisis, SARS and never felt this unsafe. We had protective gear. Now we are asked to ration masks. I signed to serve the public but never thought I would jeopardize my health in the process,” said Maria susana Carrusca, Toronto, another petition signer.