Survey: physicians waiting weeks for PPE orders as costs and COVID-19 cases rise

Coronavirus

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Nine months ago, medical experts told us we were facing a supply shortage of PPE as the pandemic hit its first wave. That means gloves, face masks, gowns were all high demand. Now, as we approach colder months and rising cases, some experts say we’re already facing that same problem again.

The Medical Society of New York State conducted a survey among physicians in the society, and came to some shocking conclusions.

The study found that 40% of doctors had to wait up to four weeks to get an order of PPE, and 20% had to wait up to six weeks. One-third of the physicians who took the survey say the price of PPE had gone up by over 50%.

“With the surge throughout the country, starting in New York, doctors once again are having trouble finding PPE,” said Dr. Bonnie Litvack, President of Medical Society of New York State.

Members of the medical society took part in the survey. Dr. Litvack says it’s a way to be prepared for curveballs, instead of running into them.

“So that we are not in same position in Spring we need to learn lessons, be on top of this,” said Dr. Litvack.

With a low supply of PPE comes more of an expense, too. In the survey, one-third of physicians say the cost has gone up by more than 50%. This is all on top of the gowns and gloves already needed without the pandemic, Dr. Litvack says.

“More than one-third of respondents said the lack of affordable PPE was impacting the ability to care for patients – we cannot have that happen,” she said.

The fight to combat these shortages, starts now.

“We are looking for our state and federal government to help us, to set up a network to get us the PPE to get it to the doctors that need it,” she said. Dr.Litvack says Senator Chuck Schumer is working with Senate Democrats to propose a bill that would increase production of PPE, as well as the amount that goes to doctors.

Members of the society include over 20,000 medical physicians throughout the state, including students.

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