Canadian Medical Association

Dear members,

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CMA Board of Directors has been holding additional virtual meetings to keep abreast of developments and guide the association’s response. At our Board meeting held yesterday, we received a comprehensive update from senior staff on the CMA’s response to date. I invite you to find out more about the efforts we’ve undertaken to support you and all Canadians confronted by this crisis.

Late last week, we responded very favourably to the federal government’s announcement of a $1.1 billion National Medical Strategy to support research, clinical trials and national testing and modelling of COVID-19, along with the creation of a COVID-19 Immunity Task Force. We look forward to contributing to this work and supporting a cautious but effective approach to re-opening health care services across the country.

Additional PPE survey results now available

The CMA has been meeting regularly with federal officials to highlight physicians’ specific challenges and concerns around the pandemic, and our member survey results are a valuable tool in this advocacy.

In follow up to my email last week, I wanted to share more detailed results from our latest member survey, conducted Apr. 20-21, which illustrate the anxiety that PPE shortages and a lack of widespread testing are creating for physicians.

  • While governments are focused on improving the availability of PPE, physicians remain seriously concerned about their ability to provide care safely. Close to 90% indicated that a greater availability of PPE would help ease their concerns, and 68% would like clearer information from their workplace administration on supply levels.
  • The survey also pointed to physicians’ concerns about the levels of COVID-19 testing nationwide, with 84% of respondents indicating that more testing would help reduce their anxiety.
  • In terms of what other measures could help support physicians’ mental well-being, 74% of respondents mentioned stabilization of income. Additionally, about half of respondents would like to see a greater availability of medications for patients (54%), better virtual care options (53%) and increased peer support (49%).

Thank you to the almost 2,500 of you who shared your feedback with us through the survey. With these findings in hand, we’ll continue to call for greater transparency on the distribution of PPE and increased levels of population testing, among other key actions, to help ensure your health and well-being is being prioritized and protected.

Recently published member resources

Clinical resources

  • Access the most current Canadian clinical practice guidelines, interim guidance and position statements on COVID-19 through CPG Infobase.

Experiences from the frontline

  • Unlike many areas of the country, New Brunswick has yet to report a case of COVID-19 in its long-term care homes. In her latest blog post, Fredericton-based Dr. Ann Collins shares what’s going on in the care home where she’s co-director.

Please note that our next edition – usually scheduled for Thursday – will go out Friday this week instead, in conjunction with National Physicians’ Day.

Also, please don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions or suggestions related to COVID-19. Our Member Service Centre can be reached at memberservicecentre@cma.ca or toll-free at 1-888-855-2555 (weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm EDT).

Thank you for your ongoing service to Canadians,
Dr. Sandy Buchman


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