The American College of Physicians (ACP) announces support for the right of physicians to bring their own personal protection equipment (PPE) to protect themselves and others around them when items are in short supply at their health care systems, and their ability to speak out in a professional manner regarding conditions related to the care of COVID-19 patients without retribution or disciplinary action.
In a new policy released Thursday, ACP continues to urge federal, state and local authorities to ensure that there is an adequate supply and distribution of personal protection equipment (PPE) for all clinicians and health care workers. The policy states that physicians can and should expect their institutions to provide appropriate means to limit occupational exposure, and that health care systems should work with physicians to improve care and patient safety ensuring the best interests of patients.
“Lack of PPE puts physicians and health care workers at risk during COVID-19 and could severely hinder the response to this pandemic, and physicians should be allowed to bring their own PPE if they don’t have access to it,” said Robert McLean, MD, MACP, president, ACP. “Additionally, ACP is concerned by reports that some physicians who have spoken out about a lack of PPE have been terminated or otherwise disciplined. Physicians who have concerns about conditions and practices related to care of COVID-19 patients should have the right to speak up within their workplaces and more broadly without fear of retaliation to achieve needed change for the health and safety of physicians and patients.”