Canadian Medical Association

Dear members,

Please find below an update on our latest work on COVID-19.

Supplies of personal protective equipment

We’re hearing members loud and clear about the need to secure and distribute additional personal protective equipment (PPE). We’re hearing first-hand from physicians running low on supplies in their clinics, having to send stock to local hospitals, or considering using expired items. We’ve also been receiving suggestions to tap into existing stock from other sectors and professionals who may not currently require these supplies.

We’ve been raising these critical concerns in our discussions with federal officials, as well as working with the PTMAs to do the same at the provincial/territorial level – highlighting that this issue must be resolved immediately.

Here are the most recent updates:

  • On Friday, March 20, the federal government announced an action plan to work with businesses and manufacturers to retool their operations to produce medical equipment, including ventilators, masks and other protective gear.
  • The federal government is leading the bulk purchasing and working with provinces/territories to distribute supplies where they’re needed most.
  • Together, the provinces/territories have been advocating for increased supplies for health care workers, and in many instances, conducting stock inventory to better inform distribution.
  • On March 18, Health Canada temporarily modified its regulations to allow expedited access to disinfectants, hand sanitizers and personal protective equipment, as well as swabs for testing.

Practice management resources

  • We recognize that many patients may be contacting you with questions about their regularly scheduled visits. The CMA has put together some template information you can share with them about potential changes to your office procedures and how they can stay healthy. 
  • On that same page, you’ll also find new information on the general infection prevention and control measures primary care providers should be following, and who should or shouldn’t be tested for COVID-19, according to current guidelines.

Health and wellness resources

  • BC clinical psychologist Dr. Catherine Costigan shares her suggestions for how health care providers can talk to their children about COVID-19.
  • As a reminder, if you are feeling distressed or need personal assistance, please reach out to your provincial physician health program.

Phishing and scams on the rise 

  • The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security has seen an increase in the number of phishing attempts and scams related to COVID-19. They have put together a list of how to spot malicious emails and websites, and protect your device from cyber attacks.

Again, if you have suggestions for how we can best support you during this incredibly challenging and stressful time, please contact our Member Service Centre at [email protected] or toll-free at 1-888-855-2555 (weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm EDT).

Thank you and be well,
Dr. Sandy Buchman

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