As US hospitals struggle with a continuing shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), the American Medical Association (AMA) has asked the Trump administration in a letter to use the Defense Production Act to generate an adequate supply of PPE for physicians in all settings, including ambulatory care offices.
The biggest challenge to reopening practices, physicians have told the AMA, “is the ongoing shortages of PPE, especially N95 masks and gowns,” the letter noted. Because physicians had not previously needed this gear, the AMA explained, they had no existing relationships with PPE vendors or the ability to source these items.
“Without adequate PPE, physician practices may have to continue deferring care or remaining closed, which will continue to have a dramatic impact on the health of their patients,” the AMA warned. “Furthermore, the ability to access PPE will help determine the future viability of physician practices.”