As physicians and other frontline health care workers across the U.S. continue to face dire shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), the AMA fully supports them in using their own face masks and respirators when these critical resources are unavailable and not provided by their employer.
The people working round the clock to combat this virus should not be penalized or punished for taking precautions necessary to protect themselves, their patients, and their families from the spread of COVID-19.
We are pleased that The Joint Commission updated its guidance today, and provided an evidence-based analysis, to clarify that its policy does not prohibit health care workers from bringing their own PPE from home.
We will continue to do everything we can to ensure those on the front lines have the PPE and other medical supplies they need to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The AMA issued a letter to the President this week reiterating AMA’s serious concerns about shortages of PPE and urging the federal government to lead a coordinated effort to make sure facilities capable of manufacturing PPE are doing so at the maximum possible capacity.
By Patrice A. Harris M.D., M.A.
President, American Medical Association