Responding to reports that a personal protective equipment (PPE) delivery from Turkey due to arrive in the UK today has been delayed, BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said:
“For doctors and healthcare staff working on the front line now and in the coming days, the announcement that the expected arrival of PPE from Turkey has been delayed for an indefinite time is extremely concerning.
“Given the Health Secretary’s warning of the possibility of full-sleeved gowns running out altogether in some hospitals this weekend, doctors were banking on the Government’s announcement of imminent extra supplies of PPE from overseas. Healthcare workers desperately need proper and effective protection now – by whatever means possible.
“Far too many doctors are already placing themselves at considerable risk by simply doing their job of caring for patients, as a recent survey1 by the BMA worryingly found that significant numbers are still without the equipment they need.
“This is not just about protecting healthcare staff; some of whom have already tragically lost their lives in the fight against Covid-19, this is about protecting the patients they treat.
“This really is a matter of life and death. In what is an incredibly challenging time, doctors and healthcare staff should feel as equipped and supported as they need to be able to deliver care for patients. Instead, they are left fearful for their own health and safety – this is shameful.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a trade union and professional association representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.
1. See press release and info on BMA survey of doctors on PPE shortages.
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