Sydney Street Medical Centre practice manager Emma Pullen and Dr Shuren Taylor
Sydney Street Medical Centre practice manager Emma Pullen and Dr Shuren Taylor

Medical staff running out of protective equipment

MEDICAL staff in Mackay and Queensland are running out of personal protective equipment.

More than 70 per cent of Queensland doctors at the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis do not have sufficient PPE and some medical facilities have resorted to making their own hand sanitiser, according to a survey by Australian Medical Association Queensland.

AMA Queensland president Dr Dilip Dhupelia said the online survey revealed 84 per cent of doctors were not confident they would be able to access sufficient and appropriate PPE as they continued to work on the COVID-19 frontline.

More than 53 per cent had bought their own masks and other protective equipment for themselves and their staff.

“By 8am this morning, more than 625 doctors had responded to our online survey which was posted at 4pm on Monday,” Dr Dhupelia said.

“These are both private and public doctors as well as those working in GP clinics in the community – the very people who are putting their own safety on the line to care for and treat Queenslanders.”

Michelle Katt, from Mackay Family Medical Practice, said the practice had limited stocks of PPE left.

“This makes it more difficult to work if staff are exposed to COVID-19 as they are already stressed and facing possible exposure,” Ms Katt said.

In order to reduce risks, Ms Katt said that some patients were being taken to separate rooms to isolate them.

Sydney Street practice manager Emma Pullen said running low on PPE was making operations risky.

“We’re running drastically short on masks, gowns, gloves and sealed thermometers,” Ms Pullen said.

“To reduce risks our staff is putting up screens to create distance between patients.”