Doctors lack protection and have problems getting Covid-19 tests

While most doctors said the situation in their workplace was okay with regards to protective equipment, 30% said they'd experienced temporary shortages.

Doctor puts on PPE / Credit: iStock

Doctors in Finland are facing shortages of personal protective equipment at work when treating coronavirus patients according to a new survey carried out by the Finnish Medical Association Lääkäriliitto of more than 8,500 doctors.

Thirty percent of respondents say there’s been a temporary shortage of protective equipment at their place of work, while 6% said there are persistent shortages.

The availability of protective gear has been best in hospitals where 69% of doctors who responded to the Lääkäriliitto survey said they had enough equipment at the time they answered the questionnaire.

Twenty-five percent of doctors said they thought there wasn’t enough guidance in workplaces to prevent the risk of transmitting the virus between doctors.

Meanwhile doctors were asked if they’d had a coronavirus test after contracting symptoms of a respiratory illness. Of symptomatic doctors in coronavirus care units 83% said they had been tested. Of doctors in other hospital units who had shown some symptoms, just two out of three had been tested for the virus.

“For the safety of employees and patients, [these matters] must be put in order” says Tuula Rajamiemi President of the Finnish Medical Association.

The majority of people who responded to the survey said they didn’t have any current problems with the amount of staff treating coronavirus patients – however the questionnaire revealed that some doctors are concerned that an emphasis on coronavirus care will leave some other long-term illnesses untreated.