ASMS

Working for better health care in New Zealand

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) is the professional association and union uniting doctors and dentists in New Zealand.

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Urgent plea over theft and hoarding of critical hospital supplies

27 March 2020 ASMS Media Release

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists is putting out an urgent plea for people to stop taking hospital supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE).

ASMS members at several DHBs have raised concerns that essential equipment needed to fight Covid-19 is going missing.

ASMS Executive Director Sarah Dalton says it’s not just the odd mask being taken.

“We’ve had reports of wholesale uplifts of things like scrubs, masks and hand sanitiser.  Supplies of PPE are vital during this Covid-19 crisis and senior doctors are raising concern that it’s putting the health and safety of all health workers on the frontline at risk”.

One hospital has reportedly been forced to put sanitiser supplies in a locked office, while one DHB has emailed staff asking them not to take PPE supplies home or hoard them for personal use.

Sarah Dalton says while some people may be taking items out of fear, there have been suggestions that PPE is being taken home to families, or even sold for profit.

“Having supplies go missing is adding to the anxiety that there isn’t enough PPE to go around.

“Doctors are being told they have to wear their own clothes because there aren’t enough scrubs to change into, putting them and those they come into contact with at higher risk of infection.

“The Prime Minister has asked us to be kind. Nicking masks and hand sanitiser is clearly not part of the lockdown plan!” Sarah Dalton says.