The ADA and other health care organizations signed a public statement March 27 saying they “strongly” support emergency efforts at the federal level to dramatically increase the production and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other necessary medical equipment and supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We also support the availability of telehealth services during this time to use less PPE while preventing the spread of infection,” according to the statement, which was drafted by the Joint Commission and signed by the ADA, American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, American College of Surgeons and American Hospital Association.
Dr. Kathleen T. O’Loughlin, ADA executive director, signed the statement on behalf of the ADA.
The Joint Commission is a U.S.-based nonprofit that accredits more than 22,000 U.S. health care organizations and programs. An ADA appointee serves on the Joint Commission board of commissioners, and Dr. David Perrott, M.D., an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, is chair.
“As organizations that represent or collaborate with individuals and institutions at the forefront of delivering health care in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are vitally concerned with the shortages of masks, face shields and other personal protective equipment, ventilators, swab kits and testing capacity that are critically needed by frontline caregivers and patients,” according to the statement. “In the most affected areas, hospitals, other health care delivery organizations, physicians, dentists and other caregivers need help now. Many others will need the same help in the coming weeks.”
The statement concluded, “We must all work immediately to remove any impediments anywhere in the supply chain and come together at the federal, state and local levels to develop an approach for a fair, equitable and swift distribution across the nation that is based upon evidence of the most need.”
A March 19 New York Times story stated that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimated that the U.S. would need 3.5 billion masks in the event of a pandemic lasting a year.
For more information on the ADA response to the pandemic, visit ADA.org/virus.