How to Assist With the Medical Supply Shortage

March 26, 2020
nurse wearing PPE for protection


As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop across Canada, medical professionals anticipate that there could be a shortage in medical supplies and equipment.

While all levels of government have been taking steps to respond to COVID-19 and to obtain necessary supplies, they have also reached out to the private sector to assist.

Government Initiatives to Involve the Private Sector

On Saturday, March 21, 2020, the Government of Ontario launched Ontario Together, a website which encourages businesses and organizations to supply emergency products and suggest solutions to support the government’s response to COVID-19. Businesses that are able to provide items such as personal protective equipment (“PPE“), ventilators, testing tools, hospital beds or sanitization supplies are encouraged to visit the website and submit a form.  Businesses that are able to innovate ways to help Ontarians are also encouraged to share their ideas.

More information on the provincial government’s program can be found here.

As well, the Government of Canada launched a website to determine the ability of suppliers to provide products and services. In addition to requesting whether businesses can provide products needed, such as masks and gloves, the federal government has also asked businesses to state whether they are able to provide services such as security, nursing, laundry and IT support.

More information on the federal government’s program can be found here.

Hospital Initiatives to Involve the Private Sector

Hospitals have also created initiatives to encourage businesses to provide medical supplies. On Monday, March 23, 2020, the Michael Garron Hospital established a PPE drive. The hospital requested that the public donate any unopened medical supplies they have such as gowns, gloves, vented goggles and masks.

Businesses such as tattoo parlours, nail salons and dentistry and veterinary clinics are encouraged to provide their supplies, which will be used to protect front-line medical care providers.

The PPE drive will be open Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and donors must bring their driver’s license and a company business card (if applicable). The hospital intends on recognizing donors on its online donor wall, unless anonymity is preferred. 

The North York General Hospital and the Scarborough Health Network have established similar drives. The North York General’s drive will run until Friday, March 27, 2020 and will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. The drive at the Scarborough Health Network will run until Saturday, March 28, 2020 and will be open from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

For those who don’t have access to PPE, the hospitals are also accepting monetary donations. Monetary donations will be used to help purchase equipment, including but not limited to ventilators, ECG and vital signs monitors, ICU beds and IV pumps.

More information on donating can be found here.

For more information, contact a member of the Fogler, Rubinoff LLP Health Law Group.

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